By Nipawin Hawks
It has been an exciting off season for the Nipawin Hawks. This offseason has seen Devin Windle our former Asst Coach, be named the Head Coach/GM of the Melville Millionaires. With this, it really shows that the Nipawin Hawks not only develop great hockey players and move them on to the next level but they also develop great leaders and coaches. We couldn’t be happier for Devin and wish him nothing but the best this upcoming season except when the Millionaires are playing the Hawks.
This offseason has also seen a huge number of players move on to great college programs. Since Coach Johnson has been with the organization, every graduating player has had an opportunity to play college hockey but this year the quality of offers has been outstanding. We couldn’t be happier for our players moving on.
Jayden Piattelli, Evan Mignault and Blake Fournier are all taking their services to a higher level after each of them completed 3 outstanding years with the Hawks.
Jayden will be moving on to Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC. SFU will be a great program for Jayden with their schooling and also the caliber of hockey and the talk that SFU will be joining the NCAA D1 ranks shortly. At SFU Jayden will be studying medicine with the hope of becoming a Doctor, which shows just how smart and driven a young man Jayden is.
Evan Mignault will be staying much closer to his Red Rock, Ont. home this upcoming year, and will be going to school and playing hockey for Lakehead University. “Migs” will be taking general studies and working his tail off to have a great first season in CIS hockey.
Blake Fournier, last year’s Captain will be joining his brother Craig and former Hawks teammates Eric Bollefer and Reece Forman at Minot State. “Fourns” will be taking Education at Minot State and will be looking to help the MSU Beavers have another great season.
These 3 men have been key contributors for the Hawks the past 3 years and will be irreplaceable within the Nipawin community and on the ice. We can’t thank Jayden, Evan and Blake enough for their contributions to our organization and wish them nothing but the best in their new endeavours.
Ian Wolkowicz, Eric Bolden and Garrett Dunlop are also going to be moving on from the Hawks after 2 incredible years with the club.
Ian will be going to The Milwaukee School of Engineering, one of the schools that he really had his eye on during his 2 years with the Hawks. “Wolkz” will be taking engineering at MSOE with a focus on Industrial Engineering and will be looking to show everyone why the Hawks always thought of him as one of the most underrated players in the SJHL.
Eric Bolden, who does have another year of junior eligibility left decided to get moving on with his schooling after a phenomenal breakout season for the Hawks and will be going to Elmira College in New York. We would obviously have enjoyed having Eric back for another year but are very excited to have helped Eric achieve his goal of playing college hockey and know he will do a great job with the Elmira College Soaring Eagles.
Garrett Dunlop one of the top players in the SJHL the last two years remains undecided on where or what he wants to do this upcoming year despite many offers from top programs throughout Canada and the US. We know that whatever decision “Dunner” makes he will tackle it with the same passion and work ethic that enabled him to excel on the ice with the Hawks.
Patrick Schmelzinger and Gordon Campbell joined the Hawks halfway through this past season and made a huge impact on the team and helped us achieve great success.
Patrick will be joining Eric Bolden at Elmira College. He will bring the same intensity and desire he exhibited on the ice for the Hawks to the Soaring Eagles and the classroom at Elmira College.
Gordon Campbell, we are pleased to announce, will be going to Selkirk College and playing for the Saints in the BCIHL. “Soupy” will undoubtedly bring his no nonsense attitude and tremendous work ethic to the Saints and help them make another championship run.
We couldn’t be happier for these 8 young men and know that our Hawks Family is much better off with them being in it. Success will follow these guys wherever they go because of their tremendous drive and more importantly because they are all great citizens. We will miss them without a doubt but they are each leaving our Hawks Family stronger than when they arrived.
With all of these departures the Hawks have had many holes to fill and we believe we have done a very good job of that this offseason. First and foremost we are very happy to announce that TJ Millar has joined the Hawks as our new Asst Coach. TJ is a very intelligent and driven young man from Calgary, AB. and is looking to make coaching his career. He spent last year with the Tri City Americans as their Video Coach and we can’t wait for TJ to put his passion and drive into this year’s Nipawin Hawks Hockey Club. The Hawks are also very happy to get Michael Grant and Kiellan Olson on the ice. Michael came to the Hawks in the Zach McNeill trade and we expect him to be a big part of replacing all of our departing offense. Kiellan was acquired last year but with still being in school wasn’t able to join the Hawks last season. We are very happy to announce that he will be arriving this year and like Michael will be relied upon heavily to carry the offense and will be a big part of the Hawks success this upcoming season. These two guys along with all of our recruits and Coach Millar’s work ethic and knowledge will be key parts to making this another exciting and successful year of Hawks Hockey. We look forward to seeing all of our fans at the Cage for the start of our Main Camp Sept. 1st.