By Dave Leaderhouse
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is getting more attractive to post-secondary institutions as former players are continuing with their careers as far north as Alaska and as south as Arizona. They are also toiling with schools from coast to coast, both in Canada and the United States, with almost every level imaginable having an SJHL alumni on a roster.
There is already a sizable crop heading to NCAA Division 1 schools next year (Josh Rieger of Estevan with the University of North Dakota; Eric Sinclair and Greyson Reitmeier from Flin Flon with the University of Alaska Anchorage and Michigan Tech, respectively; Adam Dawe from Notre Dame with the University of Maine; Reed Delainey from the Battlefords and Regan Seiferling from Yorkton both with RIT and Dakota Boutin from Melfort with Northern Michigan University) along with technical and CIS institutions starting to announce commitments as the season winds down.
There have never been more opportunities for players to further their education while still playing the game they love. Following is a brief synopsis, and it is very brief as the number of alumni playing and going to school is extensive, of what some former players are doing with their respective teams.
Dustin Gorgi – Battlefords – six goals, eight assists in 14 games with Red Deer College
Charles Manley – Estevan – one goal and one assist in 17 games with Rennselaer Institute
Greg Moro – Humboldt – one goal, six assists in 27 games with Clarkson
Alex Smith – Flin Flon – 5-9-14 in 32 games with Michigan Tech
David Heath – Nipawin and Melfort – 5-8-13 in 22 games in his second year at Red Deer College
Carter Hansen – Melfort and Melville – one goal and one assist in 22 games with the University of Regina
Kris Joyce – La Ronge – 2.81 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in 19 games with the University of Windsor
Dexter Bricker – Kindersley/Melfort/Nipawin – 2-4-6 in 15 games with York University
Tristan Frei – Melfort – 8-7-15 in 25 games with the University of Regina
Cole Porter – La Ronge – two goals and two assists in 10 games with Wilfred Laurier University
Kris Spriggs – Nipawin – 7-6-13 in 25 games with Niagara University
Dylan Coupal – Weyburn – 0 pts in 12 games with Augustana, but has 3-27-30 totals in his first four years with the club
Alexi Thibaudeau – Notre Dame – 5.32 GAA and .851 save percentage in nine games at the University of Moncton
Evan Weninger – Kindersley – 2.95 GAA and .910 save percentage in 21 games with Nebraska-Omaha
Matt Hrenkiw – Humboldt – 1.93 GAA and .915 save percentage in four games with the University of North Dakota – his fourth year with the defending NCAA champs
Jon Brumwell – Weyburn/Humboldt – 3-2-5 in 13 games with Concordia Div III
Devin Buffalo – Flin Flon – 2.90 GAA and .906 save percentage in 21 games with Dartmouth College
Blake Young – Battlefords – one goal and one assist in 11 games with Minnesota-Duluth (third season)
Landon Farrell – Melville – 3-4-7 in 22 games with St Mary’s of Minnesota
Sam Aulie – Notre Dame – 4-9-13 in 26 games with the University of Prince Edward Island
Spencer Trapp – Notre Dame – 2-14-16 in 28 games with Holy Cross
Davis Jones – Nipawin – 2.91 GAA and .910 save percentage in 13 games with University of Alaska-Fairbanks
Landon Hiebert – Flin Flon – 23-21-44 in 25 games with Lindenwood University –third year and team captain this season
Brady Norrish – Yorkton – 1-15-16 in 21 games with RIT – third season and co-captain with brother Chase who has 7-7-14 totals in his third campaign
Sebastien Beauregard – La Ronge – 4-11-15 in 25 games with the University of Windsor
Rylan Pashovitz – Humboldt – 4.64 GAA and .880 save percentage in 11 games with Arizona State University
Carter Danczak –Battlefords/Nipawin – 4-10-14 in first year at Augustana
Troy Tremblay – Melville – 2.65 GAA and .914 save percentage in 14 games with Red Deer College
Dylan Baer – Yorkton/Kindersley – 3-2-5 in 18 games with Red Deer College
Jarrett Fontaine –Humboldt/Weyburn – 13-9-22 in 15 games with Trinity Western University
As one can see, there are numerous different leagues, schools and opportunities. Players who want to continue with playing hockey and getting an education have plenty of avenues to travel, but they have to be willing to put in the work to first get noticed and then secondly, make a commitment.
The SJHL is proud of all of its players – past and present – and continues to try and do more to ensure all have an opportunity to further their education while continuing to play the game.