Koch SUPERU – Change the Way You Grow
As an 18-year-old rookie last season it took Burke Simpson eight games to notch his third goal of the season; one year later the Mequon, WI, product had reached that total in less than two periods of hockey.
In fact, before the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League announced it was taking a pause on the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 5-foot-11, 164-pound forward was leading the Nipawin Hawks in goals scored with five and points with seven in six games played.
His fast start had helped the Hawks claim a share of the Sherwood Division lead with the La Ronge Ice Wolves and his four power-play goals scored was the most by any player in the entire league. Last season Simpson didn’t register a single tally with the man advantage when he finished his freshman campaign with 12 goals and six assists in 41 games.
There were signs of things to come last spring in the playoffs when Simpson was averaging a point per game in the Hawks’ opening-round match-up against the defending league champion Battlefords North Stars. Despite being down 3-1 in the quarter-final series, Simpson had posted four assists before the playoffs were stopped with the onset of the worldwide pandemic.
Prior to making the move north to Canada, Simpson had spent the previous five years with the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals program beginning at the under-13 level and progressing through the program when he collected 45 points in 52 games with the under-18 Midget AAA team in 2018-19. Simpson also had 28 points in 35 games at the club level that same season, the same number of points he recorded with the under-16 Admirals one season earlier.
By Hawks’ standards, last year was a bit of a challenge as Nipawin was the last team to get into the post-season, but with improved play shown by players like Simpson in the early stages of the current campaign, it looks like the team is ready to once again challenge for the top spot in both the divisional and overall races.