By Mike Stackhouse
CANALTA HOTELS SJHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK-Brandson Hein, Flin Flon Bombers
1998 F Brandson Hein (Winnipeg MB) erupted for a hat trick in the season opening game on Friday night in La Ronge and then set up four more at the Whitney Forum one night later as the Bombers completed the home and home sweep. The explosion shouldn’t be a surprise as Hein is expected to be amongst the league leaders, offensively, all year after his 11-goals and 9-assists in 19-games last year upon arriving from the WHL. Runner-up: Zach Anderson, Melfort.
IBAS SJHL DEFENSEMAN OF THE WEEK-Johnny Witzke, Estevan Bruins
1998 D Johnny Witzke (Bismarck ND USA) helped the Bruins win two games to start the season by contributing 5-points, including a 2-goal, 2-assist effort on Saturday in the home opener against Melville. He also had an assist in Friday’s season opening shootout win at Melville. In his third season, Witzke is poised to surpass his 36-points from last year. Runner-up: Calvon Boots, Flin Flon.
SASKTEL SJHL GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK-Declan Hobbs, Nipawin Hawks
1998 G Declan Hobbs (Saskatoon SK) opened the season by putting up a wall against the Humboldt Broncos, stopping 88 of 89 shots, including 49 in a shutout victory on home ice Friday night. Hobbs is in his third and final season with the Hawks. Runner-up: Justen Close, Kindersley.
SJHL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK-Ryan Butler, Melville Millionaires
1999 F Ryan Butler (Maple Ridge BC) did his part to lead an attempted comeback for the Millionaires on Saturday night, scoring 2-goals and 1-assist as the Mils rallied from being down 3-0 to take a 4-3 lead, only to lose 7-4. Butler, who played last year in the VIJHL with Campbell River, had 18-goals and 19-assists in 45-games at the Junior ‘B’ level. Runner-up: George Cathers, Estevan.