By Mike Stackhouse
FLIN FLON BOMBERS
2000 G Jacob Delorme, 1999 D Mason Martin, 2000 D Ryder Richmond, 2000 D Jaxon White, 2001 D Jack Michell, 1999 F Caleb Franklin, 1999 F Donavan Houle, 2000 F Billy Klymchuk, 2000 F Reid Robertson, 2000 F Matt Flodell.
The Bombers aren’t rebuilding, they are reloading. While there may not be a lot of familiar names on the roster to start the year, fans will be quite acquainted with the likes of Rafuse, Malo, Vardy, Lemyre, and Purcell sooner rather than later. That’s not to discount quality returning vets like Franklin, Klymchuk, Robertson, Martin, etc. There’s no reason why this team won’t contend for a title.
2000 G JP Mella (Stamford CT USA) – Expected to share time with Delorme, he’s committed a Div III player for next season.
2000 D Adam Victorino (Fairbanks AK USA) – Bombers are tapping into the Alaskan hockey market again and Victorino should be similar to what fans have come to expect. 30-3-3-6 at Iowa AAA.
2000 D Jack Craycroft (Ankeny IA USA) – good size, plays a steady game, and will eat minutes on the back end. 55-4-10-14 at Iowa U18.
2001 D Cole Vardy (Hammonds Plains NS) – Was 34-9-21-30 at Cole Harbour AAA and played a few games for St. Stephen MarJHL (coached by former Bomber assistant Emery Olauson). Smart player and could develop into a top Junior ‘A’ rearguard.
1999 F Cole Rafuse (Kentville NS) – He could slot in as the top forward on the team after 66-16-15-31 with Acadie Bathurst QMJHL last year. He wore a letter with the Titan and has loads of experience in a winning culture.
1999 F Alec Malo (Laval PQ) – led his Junior ‘A’ level club in Montreal with 47-26-58-84 totals. No reason to think he can’t be a similar player in Flin Flon.
2000 F Chase Haygarth (Lloydminster AB) – Gritty forward, tough to play against (42-2-10-12 with Whitecourt AJHL).
2000 F Easton Haygarth (Lloydminster AB) – Chase’s twin brother, plays the exact same way (58-18-17-35 with Whitecourt AJHL). They are distant relatives of former Bomber Brody Haygarth.
2000 F Zach Purcell (Aurora CO USA) went 15-5-7-12 with the Rocky Mountain Roughriders program (Boots, Daniels, Moretz also came from here). He’s a skilled forward, has good shot and there is potential for him to develop into a high end producer.
2001 F Shayde Peterson (Assiniboia SK) – plays with grit, tough to play against and put up a lot of offense with Battlefords AAA (39-20-30-50).
2001 F Tristan Lemyre (Mirabel PQ) high end skill, looking at NCAA Div I, potential SJHL Rookie Of The Year, was 12-7-10-17 at Newbridge Academy.
2001 F Brandon Cianflone (Loraine PQ) – has major junior experience (35-2-1-3 at Acadie Bathurst QMJHL) and has good wheels, excellent skill set, and the potential to contribute offensively.
2001 F Drayson Collyer (Brandon MB) – very good team player, will be a thorn in the side of opposition, hard worker. 22-5-10-15 with his hometown Midget AAA club.
2000 F Jonah Henderson (Fairbanks AK USA) – hard worker, typical of the Alaskan Bombers of recent past. 13-2-6-8 at Rocky Mountain Roughriders program.
2001 F Mason Kaspick (Brandon MB) – penciled into a depth role not unlike other Bomber players who ended up being top six forwards by the end of their junior careers. 41-11-24-35 with Brandon AAA.
2001 F Matt Raymond (Camrose AB) – a throwback of sorts, he’s an agitator and plays physical. Fans should enjoy his style.
He was 16-2-3-5 at Drumheller AJHL.
2002 F Jaeden Mercier (Saskatoon SK) – went 44-21-28-49 as a 16-year-old with the Contacts AAA. Will slot in as a depth player and work his way up.
2000 D Luke Penner, 2000 D Jack Lenchyshyn, 1999 F Jordan Simoneau, 1999 F Jeremy Bisson, 1999 F Carson Erhardt, 2000 F Jake Tremblay, 2000 F Austen Flaman, 2000 F Brodie Girod, 2000 F Michael Makarenko, 2000 F Eric Sorensen, 2000 F Josh Lester, 2000 F Caleb Grandfield.
The Hawks lose a potential SJHL Goalie Of The Year, in Patrick Pugliese, to the NAHL. Forward Jaxsen Wiebe, who was a solid contributor as a 16-year-old, is off to the WHL. Nevertheless, there is strength in numbers on the blueline and up front amongst returnees and they should all have a sour taste from how last year ended, a stunning first round loss to Yorkton. Former Terrier Austen Flaman led the team with 19 goals a season ago. He projects to be amongst the league leaders in scoring and Doug Johnson coached teams are almost always closer to the top of the standings than they are anywhere else.
1999 G Justin Vertesi (Hamilton ON) – excelled at two stops in Ontario last season and finished the year with Lloydminster, the Hawks appear set to hand him the reins for the number one role.
2001 G Scott Bird (Trenton MI USA) – played for Compuware U18 and was 3.20, .883.
1999 D Bronson Adams (McKinney TX USA) Stay at home veteran brought in from Estevan (40-1-4-5).
2000 D Max Johnson (Grand Forks ND USA) Split his rookie year between Calgary Canucks and Humboldt, where he was a combined 50-3-3-6.
2001 D Dylan DiTomaso (Toronto ON) Big 6’4” blueliner stolen from the St. Michael’s Buzzers after contributing 3-assists in 27-games.
2002 D Evan Bortis (Regina SK) Skilled defenseman who took a big step forward last year with the Saskatoon Contacts. Hawks lacked puck moving blueliners who could run a powerplay last year. Bortis could be a candidate at some point.
2002 F Davis Chorney (Nipawin SK) local product was 42-16-15-31 with Tisdale and was also part of their Telus Cup team. He had a big qualifying tournament, four goals in four games.
2001 F Burke Simpson (Mequon WI USA) was second on the Milwaukee Jr Admirals in scoring (52-22-23-45) and led their team in +/-.
2001 F Sawyer Senio (Red Deer AB) was 33-9-9-18 for the AAA Midget Optimist Chiefs last year and caught the eye of Doug Johnson while on the recruiting trail.
2001 F Andrew Schaab (St. Brieux SK) was fourth on the PA Mintos in scoring with 37-points and didn’t take a single penalty all season.
1999 G Shawn Parkinson, 1999 D Jake Hobson, 1999 D Alex Rondeau, 1999 D Nolan Kadachuk, 2000 D Gabe Odowichuk, 1999 F Tyson Meyers, 1999 F Kenzie Arnold, 1999 F Zach Anderson, 1999 F Kyle Schneider, 2000 F Colton Schell, 2001 F Zack Smith.
This may be a bit of a departure from Trevor Blevins style teams of the past that have been high flying with plenty of offense. This club looks to be solid in goal and a great core on defense with Hobson and Rondeau being as good a 1-2 as there is. Look for Smith to build on an encouraging rookie year and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Blevins tinker throughout the season to find the perfect mix.
2001 G Tanner Martin (St. Brieux SK) – recently acquired from Salmon Arm in a trade, was Tisdale’s number one netminder last season and had a strong year.
2001 G Ross Hawryluk (Lloydminster AB) – also was a very good goalie at the Midget AAA level last season (2.52, .923) with Fort Saskatchewan.
2001 D Lucas Ochitwa (Wadena SK) – first round bantam pick is a skilled defenseman (44-1-21-22 at Swift Current AAA) and brings leadership capabilities. A key recruit from the offseason.
1999 F Ryley Lanthier (Surrey BC) had 3-goals and 8-assists for Langley BCHL last season and comes to Melfort with an opportunity to play a top role. Has an edge to his game and good size at 6’2”, 200 lbs.
1999 F Deklan Whillans (Manning AB) scored 4-goals and 4-assists in 42-games in the AJHL and comes highly recommended as a strong dressing room guy and is a strong winger along the boards.
2001 F Marco Lopez (Grande Prairie AB) picked up 13-goals and 4-assists in 39-games for the championship Calgary AAA club and then added 5-points in 7-games at the Telus Cup.
2001 F Christian Albertson (Saskatoon SK) – big strong forward has had a good camp. Scored 13 goals at the Midget AAA level and also popped a couple in Mustang preseason.
2001 F Brady Clayton (Marwayne AB) – two-way skilled played scored 11-goals and 15-assists in 33-games at Lloydminster AAA. Also is a plus-skater.
2002 F Ben Tkachuk (Gronlid SK) was 33-6-8-14 at Sherwood Park AAA last season. His father, Kelly, is a former Melfort captain and Ben plays with a similar heart and has the tools to be on the NCAA radar.
2002 F Davin Griffin (Regina SK) underaged player, has interest for NCAA already, had success at Regina AAA (43-26-20-46) and is capable to make the jump to Junior ‘A’ this season.
2001 F Luc Marleau (Tisdale SK) – has had a great camp, Trevor Blevins is excited about him having seen how hard he’s worked and he’s brought a tremendous attitude. He’s looked good in preseason. 42-16-11-27 with Regina AAA.
2001 F Seth McCulloch (Coutts AB) – has surprised in camp, was 34-3-7-10 at Lethbridge AAA, high compete level for a rookie. Not afraid to go in corners, makes up for lack of size with a strong competitive edge.
LA RONGE ICE WOLVES
1999 D Kevin Fillier, 1999 D Ben Manson, 2000 D Dylan Thackeray, 2000 D Grant Longtin, 2000 D Jaden Wake, 1999 F Zach Bannister, 1999 F Shane Hounsell, 1999 F Jordan Mish, 1999 F Jake Gudjonson, 1999 F Jake Chartier, 1999 F Samson Mouland, 2000 F Macrae Setoguchi, 2000 F Max Kleiner.
New head coach Kevin Kaminski gives the organization instant credibility and he’s brought in Rob Fiola as one of his main scouts. You don’t usually talk much about scouts except for that Fiola was Melville’s main scout in the Jamie Fiesel years when the Mils were yearly contenders and always seemed to be a step ahead of everyone else in identifying under the radar talent. It could be tall order to get into the playoffs, but it appears the days of the Ice Wolves being league patsies are over.
2000 G Ryan Baker (Calgary AB) A rookie at the Junior ‘B’ level last season, where was 3.16, .906. Baker plays an intense but calm game and has an excellent demeanour. He has good size that fills the net and is a good puck handling goalie.
2001 G Steven Bacovsky (Calgary AB) was 3.03, .914 with Airdie AAA last season and recently sent to the Ice Wolves from the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders. Moves east to west well, very athletic.
2001 G Alex Bell (La Ronge SK) homegrown talent is technically sound and covers angles well with good rebound control.
2001 D Travis Szafron (Airdrie AB) played six games in the AJHL for Olds as an AP and graduated from Edge, he makes a steady first pass.
2000 D Aidan Morrison (Calgary AB) had good numbers at 100 Mile House KIJHL (49-6-23-29) and is a good skater, strong on his feet. Reliable, makes sensible plays out of his own end.
2000 D Sawan Gill (Calgary AB) was 47-2-22-24 at Fernie KIJHL, has excellent vision and makes good tape to tape passes, has offense on his mind first.
2002 D Logan Holm (Saskatoon SK) tall, lanky defenseman got into four games with the Ice Wolves last year and played 44 with Battlefords at the Midget AAA level, going 4-16-20.
1999 F Daylon Mannon (Fresno CA USA) was coached by Kaminski two years ago and led his league in scoring (51-75-75-150). Figures to be a top line player right away.
2000 F Spencer Kennedy (Lethbridge AB) big scorer with Kimberley of the KIJHL 37-15-32-47, he has good size and plays a power forward game.
2000 F Bryce Trimmer (Calgary AB) scored 15-goals and 25-assists in 49-games with the Golden Rockets of the KIJHL, Kaminski is impressed with his attention to detail.
2000 F Kyle Ford (Calgary AB) smaller in stature, but has good hockey sense and plays with grease and grit. 48-17-25-42 with Fernie KIJHL.
2001 F Aaron Greyeyes (Marcelin SK) has green speed and hands combination, has impressed at camp with his compete level and work ethic. 41-16-19-35 with Beardy’s AAA.
2001 F Nakoda Thunderchief (Lethbridge AB) has shown heart and hits everything that moves. Plays with pace and finishes checks, creates opportunities.