Notre Dame Hounds (D)
The Notre Dame Hounds appear to have a defenceman who is the complete package.
Spencer Trapp, a soon-to-be 19 year-old (his birthday is Nov. 24), is big, strong and productive. And, he has a mean streak!
The White City, Sask. product is in his second season with the SJHL version of the Hounds and his six goals and five assists in the first 22 games are one of the reasons why Notre Dame is the most improved club this year.
At 6-foot-0 and 190 pounds, Trapp is a huge presence on the Notre Dame blueline and throw in his 72 minutes in penalties so far this year he also commands a lot of space in front of the Hounds’ goal.
One more attribute that can’t be overlooked is Trapp is durable as he has yet to miss a game in his SJHL career having played all 56 regular-season contests last year and nine more in the playoffs in addition to the full slate so far this campaign.
Trapp has been in Wilcox for five seasons now having first donned the red and white jerseys in 2010-11 as a 15-year-old playing Midget AA. Trapp played in 18 games that first season scoring once and adding seven assists before moving up to the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League the next year. In his rookie season of Midget AAA Trapp played in 43 games and scored three times while setting up 11 others while the next year he bumped those totals to 7-24-31, also in 43 games. His physical play was also evident at the lower level as he had 102 minutes in penalties in his 86 regular-season games.
Trapp got his first taste of junior hockey when he was 17, but he was held off the scoresheet in his one game with the Hounds. The stage was set, however, for him to make a permanent move last year where he continued to show his complete-game package by scoring four times, adding 26 assists and collecting 30 minutes in penalties.
Trapp still has one more year of junior eligibility remaining and his continued improvement at both ends of the rink gives Notre Dame a very good building block to continue making a move up in the standings.
A recent tweet received by the league indicates it will also be Trapp’s last with the Hounds as he has signed a letter of intent to play with the College of the Holy Cross for 2015-16. This is certainly a birthday he will never forget.
Flin Flon Bombers (RW)
Having just turned 19 on Nov. 20, Brandon Switzer has already seen a good chunk of Western Canada, but it looks like he might have found a home with the Flin Flon Bombers.
The Brandon, Man., native was recently acquired from the Whitecourt Wolverines of the Alberta Junior Hockey League and in his first three games with the Bombers collected three goals and added two assists.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound right winger has had no trouble finding the back of the net wherever he has played.
As a 15-year-old Switzer cracked the line-up of the Brandon Midget AAA Wheat Kings and in 43 games scored eight times and set up seven others. The following year he was named an alternate captain and he responded with 18 goals and 18 assists in just 33 games. In his final season of Midget AAA, Switzer was dominant scoring 23 times and assisting on 38 others in 43 games. He also had five goals and five assists in seven playoff games to set the table for a move to the junior level.
Having played a pair of games with the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s OCN Blizzard and one more with the Neepawa Natives while toiling with the Wheat Kings, he found his rights heading to Whitecourt for the 2013-14 season. In 55 games last year with the Wolverines, Switzer recorded 12 goals and 14 assists to go with 101 penalty minutes. Switzer was off and running this year in Whitecourt scoring nine times and setting up 12 others in 22 games before Flin Flon head coach and general manager Mike Reagan pulled off a deal that sent Erik Pedersen, who was also averaging nearly a point a game, heading west in exchange for the productive Switzer.
Switzer’s arrival has coincided with Flin Flon going on a bit of a tear and with his past history Switzer should be able to bolster the Bomber offence for the remainder of this year and one more of year of junior eligibility next season.
Battlefords North Stars, F
The leading scorer for the Battlefords North Stars as we hit the 20-game mark is 19-year-old Matthew Saharchuk. It's his first season in the SJHL, but second in Junior 'A', and third in Junior. At 17, the Fort St. James, BC product put up 60 points (including 32 goals) in 50 games in the KIJHL Junior 'B' league in B.C. He made the jump to the BCHL with the RBC Cup Host Vernon Vipers last season, before coming to the Battlefords along with his Vernon teammate, defenseman Michael Statchuk.
Estevan Bruins, F
In his return to his hometown Estevan Bruins, it's not a big surprise that Darcy DeRoose is the club's scoring leader at this point of the season. His 25-points as a 17-year-old rookie earned him a crack in the Western Hockey League. DeRoose spent parts of two seasons with the Moose Jaw Warriors, and played 35 games last season with the Everett Silvertips. At close to a point-per-game clip at the 20-game mark, DeRoose has a healthy lead in the goals and points columns when it comes to team leaders.
Yorkton Terriers, F
The Terriers have had a good connection with B.C.-born players in recent years, and in this case, they've recruited from the same family for a second time. Brandon Sookro follows the same path as his older brother Ryon, although he's got a head start. Ryon came to Yorkton for his 20-year-old season, and scored 20-goals. Brandon's in the SJHL at 18, and already halfway to the 20-goal plateau, and is on pace for closer to 30. Sookro's already had a pair of multi-goal games, including a hat trick, four point performance on Oct/3 vs LAR.