It’s the Source Embroidery Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Power Rankings for Jan. 26, 2022.
1. Humboldt Broncos (32-11-0-0) – 1st last week – Four wins in a row, Matt Perkins nabs his college commitment – he will be heading to the University of Minnesota-Duluth – and all is rosy in Bronco land. Kudos to Ferris State University commit Connor McGrath for his spot, along with Perkins, on the NHL Central Scouting watch list.
2. Estevan Bruins (28-7-1-2) – 3rd last week – Also winners of four in a row, Coach Jason Tatarnic’s men are proving they can win the tight game as well as the blowout. A win in Melfort over the Mustangs shut up some of the doubters.
3. Flin Flon Bombers (27-10-0-1) – 4th last week – Healthy, flying and winners of all six in 2022 is combined with recent NCAA commitments to goaltender Cal Schell (SUNY-Oswego), and Gabriel Shipper (Bowdin College). Two wins over at-the-time red-hot Melfort this past week also turned heads.
4. Melfort Mustangs (23-13-2-4) – 2nd last week – Five losses in a row have the ‘Stangs slip to No. 4, but most of those were tight, could-have-gone-either-way affairs against the best teams in the league – so as usual, there’s no reason to panic in Melfort. Trevor Blevins’ crew have been great at responding to slumps with long win-streaks lately, ringing off 10-in-a-row before this recent skid. Veteran Dman Mark Snarr and No. 1 goaltender Joel Favreau are back too, so everything will be fine at the Northern Lights Palace.
5. Battlefords North Stars (23-10-4-1) – 5th last week – Recent postponements have muddied the waters lately, but four wins (all very tight, as is usual with the Stars), mean Battlefords is still in great shape. They’ll have four games to reschedule from the recent Covid pause, so it should be a busy February for Brayden Klimosko’s men.
6. Yorkton Terriers (18-16-1-4) – 6th last week – A bit of a slow start to 2022 was rectified by a couple of wins last week, including a huge one over local rival Melville to win their so-called “Parks Cup”. Huge power forward Erik Boers is also back to banging in goals after his slump late last year.
7. La Ronge Ice Wolves (18-19-1-2) – 7th last week – Kevin Kaminski did a lot of work to rebuild this team around their solid core, and three big wins in a row last week have the Wolves flying. When Xavier Cannon is in there, this team has shown they can absolutely beat anyone.
8. Kindersley Klippers (17-23-1-1) – 10th last week – Perhaps other than Humboldt’s Rayce Ramsay, Kindersley’s Matt Pesenti and his save percentage of .955 over the last four has been the best in the league to start 2022. The Klips were winners of four of five vs. teams they needed to beat in the standings over a busy January, before last week’s big loss to Flin Flon, but like La Ronge, Ken Plaquin made Kindersley better with his moves, so credit where it’s due.
9. Melville Millionaires (14-20-7-0) – 8th last week – Three losses in a row now but the improvement in Melville continues to be impressive. Nicholas Samson has been as hot as anyone in the SJHL with points in seven straight, and they play the teams they need to beat a lot early in February.
10. Notre Dame Hounds (15-18-2-1) – 9th last week – No team in the league has had a more bizarre last couple of months, playing only three games over 36 days from Dec. 18 to Jan. 23, and while they have not played poorly by any stretch in 2022, the results have not been there, with a single win over five games in the new year. No team in the league has anywhere near as many games in hand as well, so there is absolutely no reason to panic in Wilcox. Big-time kudos as well to captain Kevin Anderson for his spot on the NHL Central Scouting Watch List.
11. Nipawin Hawks (13-21-0-6) – 11th last week – Much like with ND, Nipawin has not played that badly over the year so far, but has only one win six to open 2022. Playoffs are only four points away though, so a good run puts the Hawks right back into it. Harmon Laser-Hume has also been solid in net to start the year.
12. Weyburn Red Wings (10-26-3-0) – 12th last week – Four losses in a row but this team with nothing to lose is going to be scrappy and hard-working for Cody Mapes the rest of the year – expect plenty of interesting nights as the youngest team in the league relishes the role of spoiler. Defenceman Blake Norris, acquired from Steinbach as part of the trade that sent captain Braden Birnie to Manitoba, has been outstanding.