By Dave Leaderhouse
After the Nipawin Hawks won their first league title in 28 years last spring they knew they were going to lose a bunch of offensive production to graduation so to fill in some of that void they swung a trade with the Yorkton Terriers in early September and so far the return has been far more than what was expected.
The Hawks acquired 18-year-old Austen Flaman in exchange for Ante Mustapic and through Nipawin’s first eight games the 5-foot-10, 171-pound winger has led the team in scoring with three goals and six assists.
Flaman, the first player ever taken in an SJHL bantam draft when he went No. 1 overall to Yorkton in 2015, has been held off the scoresheet just once this year. That lone blemish coincided with Nipawin’s lone loss as the Hawks have jumped to the top of the Sherwood Division and overall standings in addition to being named the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s No. 1 ranked team for two consecutive weeks.
Flaman’s quick start also has him already closing in on his total output from last season as he recorded just six goals and nine helpers in 40 games with Yorkton during the 2017-18 campaign.
Prior to cracking the Terriers’ squad last year, the Emerald Park, Sask., product spent two seasons with the Moose Jaw Generals of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. In 83 games with the Generals, Flaman scored 14 times and set up 26 more with 32 of those points coming in his final season with the club.
Averaging more than a point per game in two seasons of Bantam AA hockey with the Balgonie Prairie Storm (65 points in 58 games) got him noticed by the SJHL and now that he has found a new home in Nipawin it looks like he is ready to show everyone that he belongs in the league and live up to those lofty expectations placed on him just over three years ago.
Tag(s): Young Guns