After two seasons in which he totalled just 33 points in over 100 games with the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Lloydminster Bobcats, Rylan Nivon is finding his mark since moving closer to home in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
The 20-year-old Saskatoon product already has 39 points in just 37 games with the Battlefords North Stars and his output, which is second best on the team, is a big reason for the defending champion’s brilliant start to the season.
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound forward has had nine multiple-point games and included in his totals are four game-winning tallies. Nivon also has one shootout winner in his lone attempt this year.
This isn’t Nivon’s first taste of SJHL action as he had a couple of short stints with the Melville Millionaires in his final two years of midget hockey. As a 16-year-old he collected one assist in a pair of games with the Millionaires and then the following season he saw action in five contests, but was held off the scoresheet.
Nivon played all of his midget hockey in his hometown collecting 16 goals and 45 assists in 106 games with the Saskatoon Blazers of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. Those numbers were somewhat modest especially after he came out of the bantam ranks having registered 56 points in 31 games with the Saskatoon Bandits.
The North Stars have put themselves in a good position to successfully defend the Canalta Cup championship they claimed last spring. A balanced offence and strong defence have been big reasons for the spectacular first half and if players like Nivon continue with their strong contributions then the Battlefords will be tough to dethrone.