By Dave Leaderhouse
HUMBOLDT BRONCOS, D
He was late in arriving in Humboldt, but 18-year-old Ryan Straschnitzki has been a key addition to a Bronco squad that has made the Global Ag Risk Solutions Division the most competitive of the three in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound rearguard began the season with the Whitecourt Wolverines of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, but after three games he moved east and in 30 games with the Broncos the Airdrie, Alta., product has settled in nicely providing solid defence while also contributing a goal and five helpers.
Straschnitzki got his first taste of Junior “A” hockey last year when he appeared in a pair of games with the AJHL’s Grand Prairie Storm, but that was just an interlude to a highly successful midget campaign when he helped the Leduc Oil Kings capture the provincial Midget AAA championship.
Straschnitzki accumulated 12 points in 34 regular-season games a year ago with the Oil Kings and then collected nine assists in 14 post-season tilts en route to the championship. As a 16-year-old, Straschnitzki also played with the Oil Kings and in 33 games that season he registered three goals to go with a pair of helpers.
Those two seasons at the Midget AAA level followed a year where Straschnitzki played minor midget with AC Avalanche and in 33 games with that club he tallied two goals and assisted on 11 others.
The Broncos have another week off before returning to action, but if the first half is any indication they will need increased contributions from everyone on the roster to remain in contention for the divisional title. Straschnitzki appears to be ready to answer that call and with his past experience of playing on a championship team that intangible could be an asset for the Broncos now and in the future.
Tag(s): Young Guns