~ Article by Jamie Neugebauer (@Neugsie), image courtesy Billy Durr Photography
It would be hard to fathom that the Estevan Bruins expected much more thus far than what they have received from their acquisition of Kian Calder.
The Centennial Cup hosts brought in the 2002-born defenceman from Portage in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League on Oct. 7, and since then he has been the only blueliner in the Saskatchewan league to score a point-per-game to the tune of 13 points in 13 contests at the time of writing.
“He’s a good puck-moving defenceman,” Bruins head coach and general manager Jason Tatarnic said at the time of the trade to discoverestevan.com.
“He can play on the power play, and he has a little bit of a physical side to his game.”
A native of Portage la Prairie, MB, Calder spent most of his minor hockey years at home with the Central Plains Capitals and was ultimately an affiliate player for the MJHL Terriers while the captain of the Caps U18s in the 2019-2020 campaign.
He also represented Manitoba at the WHL Cup for the top U15-aged players in Western Canada in 2017.
After he finished second in Manitoba U18 scoring among defencemen, Calder parlayed a hot start as a Terriers’ rookie into a move to the Cowichan Valley Capitals of the British Columbia Hockey League for the Covid-shortened campaign but returned home to start this current campaign.
In the wake of Nolan Jones’ suspension at the Warman Showcase, Estevan was looking for someone to take on some of those big minutes and fortify the Bruins defence; and clearly, the 5-foot-10, 190-pound Calder has done that and then some.
“(Calder) along with his partner Dayton Deics certainly log a lot of minutes,” said Bruins play-by-play voice Nolan Kowal on the SJ at Noon Show.
“The thing that really stands out to me is just his physicality, he has a mean streak to his game, and it seems like whenever there’s a scrum or a need to stick up for his teammates, he’s front and centre. He certainly has plenty of offensive flair as well, he has a good shot, he plays the power play, so it was a move that is looking like a great one because he can play in all situations. When it comes to playoff time, he is a guy that can be pretty valuable because he can do it all.”