Koch SUPERU – Change the Way You Grow
The sample size is pretty small, but it looks like the Battlefords North Stars have needed to go only as far as their own backyard to help with a rebuilding process that was necessitated with the departure of almost all of the club’s leading scorers from a team that last season cruised to a regular-season pennant and were heavy favourites to repeat as league champions before play was stopped due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the North Stars were winless in their three starts before the current season was put on hold, once again by the continuing existence of the pandemic, 18-year-old forward Jake Southgate has made an early mark by scoring once and setting up another to begin his Junior “A” career with his hometown club.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Southgate had a small taste of what it was like to play at the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League level last year when he got into three games with the powerful North Stars and despite being held pointless during that audition he was obviously on the radar for the future.
A big part of getting noticed was the 17 goals he scored with the Midget AAA Stars last year and before that, when he was 16 years old, he was a key factor in helping the Midget AA Barons capture the Centre-Four Hockey League championship during the 2018-19 campaign. Southgate had averaged more than a point-per-game during that run finishing with 17 goals and 19 assists in 31 games while in the post-season he tallied three goals and 10 helpers in 14 more games.
Whenever play resumes this season, Southgate wants to continue working towards getting a scholarship at a Division 1 school, but more importantly he is expecting to be one of the top players on a team that, while obviously in a rebuilding mode, has set high standards in recent years of being a major threat every time they take to the ice.
The early returns look like Southgate is on the right track to accomplish all of that.