Battlefords’ Star Forward Layne Young Staying In Home Province In 2018-2019
(Picture & Story courtesy Nathan Kanter, Battlefords NOW)
Given his resume, North Stars captain Layne Young had all sorts of choices when it came to choosing his path after this season, when he will graduate from Junior A hockey.
On Thursday morning, the team announced Young has decided on his destination: he will head down Highway 16 and join the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
“There were some [NCAA] Div-1 schools that were really close and obviously had some good offers…but UofS is just the one,” Young said after practice on Thursday. “At the end of the day when I’m done hockey, I want to go back to the farm and I know the UofS has one of the better ag programs and I knew the hockey was top notch, just like Div-1. It’s hand and hand. They’re both really good.”
Young’s desire to return to the farm after hockey has never been in question.
He admitted his off-ice area of interest may have limited his potential destination a little bit.
“There’s obviously some schools that couldn’t offer the ag side of things but I still looked into them,” Young said. “I still thought about maybe doing some business because I knew that was obviously going to help with the farm as well, but at the end of the day I just thought ag would be the best bet.”
The 20-year-old currently leads the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League with 64 points in 32 games and has compiled 210 career points in 144 career regular season games. He also has 36 career playoff points in 22 games, including 23 points during last spring’s playoff run that ended in a Canalta Cup championship.
Young’s situation was different than most, as he actually approached the Huskies, as opposed to the other way around.
“I reached out to them at the start of December and [Huskies head coach Dave Adolph] said he was interested and said he would come out and watch me in December,” Young said. “I talked to [Adolph] yesterday for about an hour and he just went over that there are six guys leaving, so that’s exciting because I know I’ll have a shot to crack the everyday roster.”
The Huskies are also set to have a brand new arena open for the 2018-19 season, right in time for Young’s arrival.
Being close to home is another positive for Young, though not the deciding factor.
“It obviously wasn’t everything. It wasn’t the big thing,” the Frenchman Butte native said. “But it’s always nice to be close to home. For my parents and my grandparents it’s only a three hour drive for them to come watch me if they ever feel like it instead of having to make a flight.”
Getting the committment out of the way now that it’s 2018 was also a sigh of relief for Young.
“I’m happy to get it done with,” he said. “It was kind of my goal at the start of the year to have it figured out by around Christmas time.”
North Stars assistant coach Boyd Wakelin said he was impressed with how Young handled all the chatter with potential suitors, which can sometimes be distracting.
“He didn’t really let it get into his head and affect his game,” Wakelin said. “I thought he did an unbelievable job. You look at his statistics, you look at his play alone and it speaks for itself.”
Young is the third North Star player to commit to a post-secondary institution this season, as linemate MacGregor Sinclair has committed to Canisius College in Buffalo and defenceman Levi Kleiboer has committed to the University of Maine.