Prior to Flin Flon captain Mason Martin going on a tear and recording 15 points in his last seven games, another team captain, Matthew Fletcher of the Battlefords North Stars, was quietly leading all Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League defencemen in every offensive category.
While he now trails Martin in goals and points by a rearguard, Fletcher has been a huge reason for the North Stars putting in a strong case to successfully defend the Canalta Cup title they captured last spring.
Aside from his leadership and offensive abilities, Fletcher has anchored a blueline group that has been by far the stingiest in the league. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Saskatoon product has also been durable missing just five games over the last two seasons and in his almost three years with the North Stars has competed in over 150 games.
Another trait that can’t be overlooked when assessing the 20-year-old’s abilities is his presence in big games as last year Fletcher contributed seven points in 16 playoff games en route to the league championship and in the Anavet Cup series against the Portage Terriers he stepped up his game even further when he posted four points in five matches.
Prior to making the jump to junior hockey, Fletcher spent two seasons with the Saskatoon Blazers of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League and there too he showed his durability missing just three games during that span. He also displayed his ability to improve with experience as he bettered his 12-point rookie season with the Blazers by more than doubling that with 25 in his final year of midget eligibility.
The North Stars are poised to try and defend their league title and make a longer run towards a national championship and with players like Fletcher in the fold they appear to be in good hands to do just that.