The Flin Flon Bombers have had little trouble putting the puck in the net this year as their 66 goals scored in 15 games trails just the 72 that the league-leading Battlefords North Stars have registered in 16 tilts.
Alec Malo leads the league with 30 points, including a league best 23 assists, and Donavan Houle-Villeneuve has the most goals with 16, but the third part of that top line is Cole Rafuse, whose steady play also has him in the top five in scoring with 25 points in 15 games.
Rafuse, a 20-year-old from Kentville, NS, has been held off the scoresheet just twice this year, but his production should not be overly surprising as the 6-foot-1, 200-pound winger came to Flin Flon after playing more than 200 games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League over the last four seasons.
A second-round pick of the Val-d’Or Foreurs in 2015, Rafuse spent the majority of his major junior career with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan where he collected 30 goals and 26 assists in 219 regular-season games. During his time with the Titan, Rafuse was part of a Memorial Cup championship team when Acadie-Bathurst blanked the host Regina Pats 3-0 in the 2017-18 championship final.
Rafuse has represented his home province of Nova Scotia at numerous events including under-14 and under-15 events in addition to the Canada Winter Game in 2015. Rafuse, who was a first-round pick of the Valley Wildcats in the 2015 Maritimes Junior A Hockey League, was named to all-rookie squads at both the bantam and midget levels in Nova Scotia.
The Bombers are off to a hot start and if Rafuse can continue with his huge contributions, Flin Flon will continue to be a threat for not only the Sherwood Division title, but they could be one of the few challengers to catch the high-flying Battlefords North Stars for first place overall.