Kindersley Klippers, RW
The final piece to a long-ago trade is paying huge dividends for the Kindersley Klippers.
Devin Case was the future considerations in a Jan. 10, 2013, deal between the Klippers and Grand Prairie Storm and since arriving in Saskatchewan the 5-foot-8, 160-pound right winger has felt right at home.
The 20-year-old product from Yellowknife, NWT, arrived in Kindersley prior to the start of the 2013-14 campaign and in 44 games with the Klippers last year scored 10 goals and set up 14 others. This year Case is leading the team in scoring in the early stages of the regular season having notched three goals and setting up five others in the first six games.
This isn’t Case’s first taste of SJHL action as he played a pair of games with the Notre Dame Hounds in 2011-12 while also toiling with the Notre Dame Argos of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. Case first came to Notre Dame as a 16-year-old when he scored two goals in two games with the Argos and in his one full season of Midget AAA action he netted 15 goals and collected 36 assists in 43 games.
His first year of junior hockey saw him head west to Grand Prairie where he played a full 56-game slate with the Grand Prairie Storm, but after posting just 5-8-13 totals he was deemed expendable to complete the earlier deal that saw Brett Printz move from Kindersley to northern Alberta.
Case brings plenty of experience and leadership to a Klippers squad that is looking to move deeper into the playoffs next spring. His quick start to his final year of junior eligibility is certain to be what the team was looking for.
Melfort Mustangs, D
His name definitely stands out and it also looks like his play is being noticed as Dawven Berggren is off to a great start in his second season with the Melfort Mustangs.
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound rearguard is halfway to equalling his total point production from his rookie campaign and the season is just 10 games old for the much-improved Mustangs.
The 19-year-old product from Saskatoon has six assists in the early stages of his sophomore season while last year he tallied one goal and 11 helpers in 45 matches. The former ninth-round bantam draft pick of the Western Hockey League’s Red Deer Rebels never has been a player to put up big numbers, but his defensive play has always been consistent which is a big reason why he has always succeeded at every level he plays at.
Prior to joining the Mustangs last year, Berggren spent two seasons with the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League’s Tisdale Trojans where he scored three times and added 22 assists in 70 games over that span. Berggren also played 10 games at the Midget AAA level as a 15-year-old when he collected one assist with the Saskatoon Contacts.
With another full season of eligibility remaining after this year, Berggren will undoubtedly continue to improve and provide the Mustangs with a solid stay-at-home presence, a trait that is often overlooked, but very valuable to dictate team success.
Melfort Mustangs, F
Now that a pair of goal scoring streaks have come to an end, we can highlight them here without fear of a jynx! Adam Fauchoux scored in each of the Melfort Mustangs' first six games, and in fact scored eight goals during that early stretch. Fauchoux hit the 20-goal plateau in a solid sophomore season a year ago, and projects to far surpass that in his final season. The defending division champion Mustangs are right in the thick of the race for the Sherwood lead through the opening fifth of the season.
Flin Flon Bombers, F
The only player out-scoring Melfort's Fauchoux so far, has been Flin Flon Bombers' newcomer Chris Rauckman. Rauckman scored nine times during a seven game streak to begin the season, and has 11-goals and 18-points through his first 10 games. Rauckman scored 33 goals and 50 points with the AJHL's Drumheller Dragons a year ago, and came to Flin Flon this season as future considerations in the deal that sent goalie Devin Buffalo to Drumheller at last season's deadline.
Weyburn Red Wings, D
Through two seasons with the Regina Pat Canadians of the Saskatchewan Midget 'AAA' Hockey League, defenseman Mike Eskra showed he's ready for the next level as an underager. At the age of 17, Eskra's full time on the Red Wings' blue line. The Wings' had a slow start to the season but their young core is starting to lead the way. Through seven games, Eskra was second on the team in points (1g-5a-6p), while 18-year-old forward Braden Mellon leads the club