Michael Korol (LW)
On a team that has failed to find its consistency all year, the Humboldt Broncos do have one thing that has been consistent – Michael Korol
The 18-year-old has played in every game since arriving in Humboldt just over a year ago and through 26 games this season the 5-foot-11, 180-pound centre has three goals and six assists. Korol dressed in all 56 regular-season games last year totalling nine goals and 17 helpers and he also saw action in four post-season matches, but was held off the scoresheet.
Born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, but raised in Saskatoon, Korol has been a model of consistency wherever he played.
As a 15-year-old, Korol played in all 44 regular-season games for the Moose Jaw Generals of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. The following year he suited up for just 27 games with the Battlefords Stars of the SMAAAHL, but his point production shot up from two as a Midget AAA rookie to 12 as a sophomore. Korol also had a long run in the post-season with the Stars playing in 10 games and registering a goal and one assist.
Korol was an elite player in his minor hockey days having attended the Western Elite Bantam Development camp so his skill level has been recognized for some time. The Broncos will be looking for that skill to continue to improve as they continue to battle for one of the final playoff spots going into the second half of the season.
As an alternate captain with the Broncos this season his leadership will also be counted on making him an attractive package for the team to build around.
Brandon Lesko (RW)
Flin Flon Bombers
He could still be playing midget hockey, but for Brandon Lesko the jump to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Flin Flon Bombers appears to have been a smooth one.
The 17-year-old product from Hafford, Sask., has appeared in all 25 games the Bombers have played this season and with two goals and seven assists is contributing to a club that is on the cusp of putting together a strong finish to what has been a somewhat average start to the current campaign.
Lesko, a 6-foot-0, 185-pound winger, played the last two years with the Battlefords Stars of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League where last season he helped the club reach the league final before losing to the Regina Pat Canadians.
Lesko played in every regular-season game for the Stars a year ago and had 21 goals and 33 assists. He also saw action in all 14 post-season contests contributing four goals.
As a 15-year-old in 2013-14, Lesko had nine goals and 17 assists in 41 games with the Stars while also playing for Team Saskatchewan at the Western Canadian under-16 championship.
His play first got noticed at the bantam level when with the Battlefords Barons he scored 26 goals and added 23 assists in 26 regular-season games and nine goals and 11 helpers in nine playoff contests during his final year.
The Calgary Hitmen took a flier on him selecting him with the 216th pick in the annual Western Hockey League bantam draft that year and this past fall he attended the Hitmen camp before relocating to Flin Flon.
With three more years of junior eligibility remaining the Bombers would certainly like to have him in their fold, but regardless of where he plays Lesko looks like he has a bright future in the game. Despite his age, his size and abilities are certainly keeping him in the Bomber line-up on a nightly basis this year.
Lynnden Pastachak (F)
When it was announced that the Estevan Bruins would host the 2016 Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup, it was clear that Lynnden Pastachak would be a centrepiece who could be built around. The Bienfait product has struggled with injuries in recent years, but is poised for career highs as the Bruins look for a strong second half in preparation for the WCC. Pastachak had points in five of his first six games in November, and points in 10 of 11 games (9g-7a-16p). The Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup starts April 30th at Affinity Place.
Layne Young (F)
Battlefords North Stars
Rookie Layne Young has managed to quietly be the league's second leading scorer near the end of November. Young has just one game of more than two points on the season, but he had at least one point in 20 of his first 25 games, arguably the most consistent offensive producer since day one. The Frenchman Butte, SK product is fitting into the SJHL seamlessly after being among the league leaders in the SMAAAHL last season, where he racked up 31-goals and 63-points in 43-games with the Battlefords Stars.
Jesse Ross (F)
Weyburn Red Wings
Former SJHL scoring champ Jesse Ross is helping the U of S Huskies to the best record in Canada West so far this season. The Huskies were 12-2-0 through 14 games, and Ross had 4-goals and 8-points in his fourth season. Ross' best season was his sophomore campaign in 2013-2014 where he put up 24 points (11g-13a) in 28 games. Prior to his CIS career, Ross capped a two year stint with the Weyburn Red Wings with a league-high 46-goals and 91-points in 2011-2012. Watch for an upcoming CIS feature on Ross on the main page here at SJHL.ca .