~ written by Jamie Neugebauer (@Neugsie), image courtesy Doell family
It should not have been a surprise to anyone that it was to La Ronge that Nolan Doell went after he made the move back to Saskatchewan from the Whitecourt Wolverines of the Alberta Junior Hockey League back in 2019-2020.
Not only was the talented forward an Ice Wolves draft pick and affiliated player in both the 17-18 and 18-19 campaigns, but Beardy’s Blackhawks U18 teammates Aaron Greyeyes and Holden Knights were all to be reunited that year with Doell in the league’s northeastern Saskatchewan outpost. For the record, forward Cobe Delaney and defenceman Parker Layton were also on that Beardy’s squad, and have since joined the Ice Wolves for this season.
That Doell, a 2001-born native of Martensville, is one of the league’s premier offensive players is another unsurprising eventuality.
Doell finished fourth in Sask U18 scoring that 18-19 campaign, with 59 points in 41 games, and of the three men above him that year, one is on the Columbus Blue Jackets (Cole Sillinger), and the other two are key Western Hockey League contributors (Keaton Sorensen and Cole Nagy); so, decent company there.
Another point of interest is that the Doell family has the rare honour of having two brothers in the SJHL at the same time, as the 2003-born Holden is plying his trade as a regular for the Battlefords North Stars.
“I’d say we both like to use our speed to our advantage,” says Holden when asked to compare their playing styles, “and we both work hard.”
“But he plays a more physical game,” the Stars’ Doell continues, “and likes to be a physical presence. He also has a really good shot, while I like to use my smarts and passing abilities to make plays and to get open around the ice.”
Nolan has been nothing short of dominant this year, posting 12 goals and 11 assists in 24 games as the captain of the Wolves, and while it has been a difficult start for Coach Kevin Kaminski’s team, Doell has done more than his part, leading the club at the time of writing in goals, points, and game-winning goals.
Look for Doell to be a lock to represent the SJHL at the upcoming SJ/MJ Showcase in Winnipeg in the new year.