Koch SUPERU – Change the Way You Grow
The Notre Dame Hounds often compliment their line-up with players who have progressed through the various levels of hockey while attending Athol Murray College in Wilcox, Sask.
These players arrive in the small Saskatchewan centre from a variety of places across the country, and sometimes beyond, and together they form a bond that generally translates into success on the ice.
Sometimes, however, outside help is required and that is what happened last season when the Hounds swung a deal with the Humboldt Broncos early in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League regular schedule bringing in defenceman Zackery Whittaker for a player development fee.
The 6-foot-0, 180-pound Whittaker, who hails from Victoria, B.C., then appeared in 35 games for the Hounds where he registered one goal and added eight assists during that time. His initiation with the program appears to have gone well as this season, shortly after he turned 19 years old, Whittaker had collected three assists in five games before play was stopped in late November due to the ongoing concerns with the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.
Prior to heading east to compete in the SJHL, Whittaker had spent two seasons with the Westshore Wolves of the Victoria International Junior Hockey League. In 57 games with that club Whittaker had tallied a pair of goals and added 14 assists while also accumulating 48 minutes of penalties. His grittiness was also apparent with the Hounds last year as he registered 43 penalty minutes during his time in Wilcox.
When play resumes this year the Hounds will be looking to get on track and try and make a return to the post-season, an event they missed out on last spring for the first time since 2010-11. A 1-3-0-1 start to the current campaign has them in a bit of hole to achieve their goal, but with improved play by players like Whittaker the possibility is certainly there.