Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Stars’ captain McNinch commits to Red Deer Polytechnic

~ Article and image courtesy Martin Martinson, battlefordsNOW

North Stars captain, Ryland McNinch, is Alberta bound this fall as the third-year Turtleford product has announced his commitment to Red Deer College for the 2022-23 hockey season.

McNinch said the opportunity to continue playing hockey at the next level while pursuing his education is something he’s looking forward to, adding that it doesn’t hurt either having a couple of familiar faces at the college.

“I’m really excited going to a great college there in Red Deer to get some schooling and play some hockey,” McNinch said. “There’s a few guys I know there from the team last year as well, and I’ve heard a lot of good things from those guys that they have a great group there, so I’m just really looking forward to it.”

Those former Stars teammates include forward Jaxon Steele and goaltender Kristian Lyon, both of whom played in the Battlefords for two seasons before committing to the college in early 2021.

In the classroom, McNinch will pursue a degree in Kinesiology and Education, as he intends to one day become a teacher.

Head coach of the Stars, Brayden Klimosko, called the forward’s commitment well deserved.

“Obviously he’s been a big part of our year, he’s had a great year and he always works hard, so for him to commit to a great program like Red Deer, I’m really excited for him,” Klimosko said.

In 38 games this season, McNinch sits third in North Stars goals (13) and fourth in points (29), helping lead the team to fifth spot in the league standings overall, with a 23-10-5 record with still 20 games to play.

McNinch and his North Stars teammates will return to action this Saturday in Kindersley. The NAPA Auto Parts North Stars Hockey Broadcast will be available on 1050 CJNB. The Ultra Print Pregame Show will begin at 7:00 p.m., with puck drop to follow at 7:30 p.m.