It’s your Source Embroidery Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Power Rankings! Let’s go.
1. Melfort Mustangs (9-2-1): With the best goals-against-per-game in the league, Trevor Blevins has his team firing on all cylinders. The most experienced team in the league is playing the game like a fine instrument, like a (Hayden) Tuba, perhaps.
2. Flin Flon Bombers (10-3-0): Whether at home or on the road, in tight games or blowouts, Flon Vegas is putting on a show. Likely the deepest forward corps in the league, Mike Reagan’s men have won six in a row, nine of ten, and the battle for the Sherwood is already straight fire. Someone give Jaeden Mercier a Division I commit now, because it’s going to happen sooner or later. Love to see the breakout year from Cal Schell in net.
3. Battlefords North Stars (7-3-1): One of only two teams to beat Melfort so far this year in regulation this year, Brayden Klimosko’s team followed up a rare defeat on Oct. 9 by outscoring the opposition 14-4 in wins over the last two games (including a 10-3 thrashing of La Ronge this past weekend). Colby Bear with five goals in his first five career junior hockey games, are you kidding me? It’s a new hero every night for the Black and Silver.
4. Humboldt Broncos (7-4-0): A red-hot start has cooled off a bit in Broncos land but they are still as balanced as ever. The scouting report on Lucas Ceccarelli said that he was definitely a playmaker first and foremost, but with seven goals already maybe he should update that resume. Saskatchewan has been feeling the wrath of Connor McGrath all year, as he’s been dominant, as has fellow new Bronco Alec Saretzky. Veteran Rayce Ramsay has been as advertised in the net, leading the league in minutes, wins, and saves.
5. Estevan Bruins (5-3-0): This team is a sleeping giant and is one still getting used to playing together and for Jason Tatarnic, but on a given night they will blow anyone away. A solid win over the weekend at home to Nipawin is a great start, and Caelan Fitzpatrick is becoming the elite talent many believed he would. The Centennial Cup hosts will keep tinkering with this roster all year, you can count on it.
6. Notre Dame Hounds (5-5-0): Five wins from seven for Brett Pilkington’s Hounds and it isn’t at all just about Austin (Elliot)’s Powers. The goalie situation shored up with the talented 2004-birth year and veteran Ryley Osland is huge, and captain Kev Anderson is flying, but this is still the youngest team in the league and they will have their ups and downs. One thing is for sure though: they are not afraid of anybody.
7. Nipawin Hawks (6-5-0): A tough southern road trip was salvaged by a Chase Hamm masterpiece in net at Notre Dame Sunday, but the biggest job for Doug Johnson’s men is to get healthy. Braxton ‘don’t call me the other twin’ Buckberger, the brother of NHL prospect and Wisconsin commit Boston, looks to be an awesome pickup and this defence corps is still very steady.
8. Weyburn Red Wings (3-5-1): Dazza keeps dazzling, and wins over Melville and Nipawin have this team feeling much better about itself. This is a very big team, especially up front, so opposition squads should not expect too many more easy nights at the Crescent Point Palace. Great to say Braden Birnie become the dangerous customer that he has been expected to be for a couple years.
9. Yorkton Terriers (4-8-0): The hard-luck Terriers are starting to win, and a lot of it has to do with the emergence of the great Kael DePape in the sticks. Wins over Weyburn and Humboldt has Matt Hehr and his men breathing easier, but still lots of work to do at the Westland Arena as goals still are not easy to come by.
10. Kindersley Klippers (4-7-0): A wild overtime win over La Ronge and a couple of roster adds have cooled the key injury problems this team keeps facing, but it’s a very young group overall and other than La Ronge, nobody has given up more goals. Charles Obobaifo and Logan Linklater are both capable of absolute magic when the inspiration strikes.
11. La Ronge Ice Wolves (3-7-1): Nobody has struggled more since the Showcase than Kevin Kaminski’s Ice Wolves as while this forward corps can score with anybody, the team can also give up a lot the other way. Holden Knights hasn’t played since the vicious crosscheck he received at the Showcase, and while Nolan Doell and company keep scoring, this team needs a healthy and consistent backend and fast.
12. Melville Millionaires (1-4-4): Four overtime/shootout losses already, but the best news for Mike Rooney’s bunch is that they seem to have found their solution in net with former Flin Flon Bomber Jared Thompson. There are enough good players on this team to really turn this around, so nobody panic in Mils land! This writer believes in Mike Rooney and so should you.