By Dave Leaderhouse
MELVILLE MILLIONAIRES, C
The Melville Millionaires have struggled to find the win column early in the 2017-18 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League regular season, but a trade they made in the summer has given the club a solid building block for the foreseeable future.
Ethan Kopyczyn, acquired from the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League in early August, has been involved in nearly a third of the Millionaires’ offensive output early in his rookie SJHL campaign.
The soon-to-be 19-year-old (Oct. 30 birthday) from Sherwood Park, Alta., has two goals and seven assists to lead the Millionaires in scoring after 14 games. The 5-foot-10, 187-pound centre had one stretch where he collected at least one point in nine of 10 games.
Kopyczyn never played a game with Alberni prior to joining the Millionaires as he spent last year with the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Calgary Mustangs where he registered eight goals and 13 assists in 56 games.
Prior to making the jump to the Junior “A” level, Kopyczyn spent his final year of midget eligibility with the Swiss International Sports Education Centre, an international midget hockey academy in Calgary, and in 36 games he tallied 11 goals and 16 assists. Kopyczyn appeared in four playoff games with SISEC that season and had three goals and three assists in that span while also getting his first taste of junior action when he was held off the scoresheet in two games with the Mustangs.
Kopyczyn never played at the Midget AAA level in his first two seasons of midget hockey as he dressed with the minor midget Sherwood Park Squires as a 15-year-old and then moved up to the Midget AA Sherwood Park Oilers the following season. With the Squires, Kopyczyn had 27 points in 37 games and then turned it up a notch with the Oilers when he registered 15 goals and 32 helpers in 32 games.
The Millionaires have a number of new faces in the line-up this year, but with players like Kopyczyn settling in it is just a matter of time before the wins start to come.
Tag(s): Young Guns