Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

From Bronco to Tiger. Doug Scott prepares for NCAA Div I commitment to RIT

Photo courtesy Marla Possberg Photography

by Rory McGouran

When speaking of the sporting world, and specifically the SJHL, the 2020 calendar year was a tough pill to swallow for teams across the province. The weight was even more burdensome for 20-year-old hockey players who lost their final season of Junior eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, waiting on the backend of nearly 12 months filled with uncertainly, some good news for the Humboldt Broncos and their Captain, Doug Scott.

Back on December 7th, the Broncos and defenseman, Doug Scott announced his commitment to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), where he will join the NCAA Division I Tigers’ hockey program for the 2021/22 season.

“As people would assume, I’m super excited,” said Scott. “It’s a goal that I’ve been working towards pretty much my whole hockey career. I am grateful for the opportunity RIT gave me to commit with them and extremely excited to be a part of their organization and get going.

The Broncos acquired Scott in early December of 2019 through a trade with the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials. Scott’s production and ice-time may have been limited in the BCHL, but his game quickly acclimated to the SJHL, establishing himself as a premier talent in the league with 30 points (10g-20a) in 26 games.

Not only was Scott able to showcase his offensive ability on a routine basis, but as the Bronco’ coaching staff continued to provide him and his offensive ability the green light, it rekindled the North Vancouver native’s passion for the game.

“The coaches, Scott and Curtis, have really allowed me to play my game. I enjoy jumping up in the offense when the time allows it. In the past, coaches have always looked down on me for that and shunned that kind of play. Here they allow me to play a little more of my game and it’s worked out. The biggest thing for me was learning to enjoy the game again, and that’s what I got here. I’m very thankful for the support from the coaching staff in Humboldt.”

Heading into his final year of junior hockey, and his second season with the Broncos, the coaching staff appointed Scott as the captain, crediting his leadership and work ethic off the ice as driving factors towards that decision.

“His work ethic was second to none, and that’s one of the main reasons he was picked to be the captain of our team,” said Broncos’ Head Coach and GM, Scott Barney. “His conditioning separates him. You could see it late in games when he continued to skate by guys that had no more gas, yet he had a full tank. He brings an offensive ability that’s at an extremely high level, but since he’s been here, he was able to make his entire game dangerous, including defensively.”

A smooth transition from Junior-A hockey to the highest level of NCAA will be a tall task. However, given his high potential, combined with his reunited love of the game, the ceiling for success has been set extremely high.

“At the university level, it is a higher-end game, so he will have to start on the defensive side and prove himself there, added Barney. “Then when he gets the opportunity to really showcase his ability on the offensive side, he’s got to deliver.  Doug’s proven to us and to RIT that with his passion and work ethic, combined with his ability on the ice, he has the upside to go far in his career.

Scott was off to another torrid pace in 2020/21. He compiled 10 points (4g-6a) in his first 6 games, leading all SJHL defensemen in points and goals before the SJHL season came to a halt.

With the commitment to RIT, Scott marked the Bronco’s second NCAA Division I commitment in 2020, joining Karter McNarland, who committed to the University of Vermont for the 2022/23 season.