Zachary Gladu, F
La Ronge Ice Wolves
He has never been prone to produce much offensively, but 18-year-old Zachary Gladu has been a nice surprise for the offensively-starved La Ronge Ice Wolves.
The Golden Prairie, Alta., product, who has not scored more than four times in a season since his minor-midget days back in southern Alberta, has four goals in his first 14 games with the Ice Wolves this year and he has also brought an edge to his game by accumulating 29 minutes in penalties.
The 6-foot-1, 207-pound sophomore winger failed to score in 20 games with the Ice Wolves last year and in 13 matches with the Kindersley Klippers before being dealt to La Ronge in January, for Chase Daniels, he had just one goal and two helpers.
In his final year of midget hockey before moving east to Saskatchewan he had 4-6-10 totals in 33 games with the SEAC Tigers of the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League. It was as a 15-year-old while playing minor midget hockey that Gladu had the most success statistically when he registered 17 goals and seven assists to go along with 80 penalty minutes.
The Ice Wolves have struggled out of the gate, but when they turn things around that should only help Gladu to put up bigger numbers. While his offensive output might not turn heads, his size and ability will certainly get other team’s attention.
Mathieu Jallabert, F
That appears to be the best way to describe Melville Millionaire rookie Mathieu Jallabert.
Despite being just 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds he has, in the past at least, been able to find the back of the net while also bringing some grit to his game.
Jallabert, who will turn 19 on November 10, has three goals and three assists in his first 13 games in the SJHL and he has also picked up 23 minutes in penalties to continue with a trend that has followed him during his entire career.
Prior to joining the Millionaires, Jallabert spent two seasons with the Oceanside Generals of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. The Nanaimo native appeared in 38 games with the Generals last year and had 18 goals, 28 assists and 158 penalty minutes while the year before with the Generals he produced 15-25-40 totals to go with 69 minutes in penalties in 35 games.
Even when he was playing midget hockey with the North Island Silvertips his blueprint was followed. He had three goals and 11 assists, along with 113 penalty minutes, as a 16-year-old and one year prior to that he produced 2-4-6 totals and, yes, he even sat out 53 minutes in the penalty box.
The Millionaires are in a new era with a new coach and numerous new faces. Jallabert looks to be someone that can bring plenty of excitement to the Melville fans, not just this year, but next year as well.
Weyburn Red Wings, G
After two seasons in Kindersley, 20-year-old goalie Nathan Hargrave was moved to Weyburn over the summer, and after mainstay Jack Burgart graduated, the Red Wings haven't seen any kind of downgrade between the pipes with Hargrave through the first month of the season. Through his first nine starts, Hargrave allowed three goals or less in all but one of them, including a pair of shutouts. Fri/Oct/7 against Notre Dame, Hargrave was perfect in a 12 round shootout, and the very next night, posted a 29-save shutout against La Ronge.
Battlefords North Stars, G
There appears to be a goaltending factory in West Central Saskatchewan, and the Battlefords North Stars aren't having to look far from home. A year ago, 17-year-old rookie Taryn Kotchorek, a North Battleford product, asserted himself into the mix and earned minutes with veteran goalies in the fold. This season, another 17-year-old, 1999-born Joel Gryzbowski from Hafford, SK, has been outstanding in the early going. His first four starts produced a pair of shutouts, and just two goals against, for a 0.50 GAA, and .979% (94/96 saves). Gryzbowski put up a .926 save percentage with the Saskatoon Blazers (SMAAAHL) last season.
Flin Flon Bombers, G
It's the goalie panel in this segment this time around, but they've earned it. With the Flin Flon Bombers carrying an extra 20-year-old at the start of the season, Zac Robidoux was the odd man out in the beginning, but since getting back to the crease, Robidoux posted a 3-0-1 record over his first four starts, to go along with a 1.71 GAA, .949% and a shutout. The Winnipeg product had 20 wins and 5 shutouts a year ago, splitting duties with Brenden Newton. Prior to coming to Flin Flon, Robidoux had an RBC Cup under his belt with Portage (MJHL), and also has WHL experience with Medicine Hat and Lethbridge.