By Dave Leaderhouse
Every year the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League graduates a large number of players with a high percentage of those moving on to collegiate hockey whether it is in the United States or at various levels in Canada.
While in the SJHL they are given plenty of exposure either to promote them for a post-secondary opportunity or to just acknowledge their efforts as their career unfolds. For some, however, once they have left the league there isn’t too much said about them so a couple of times a year the league wants to let its fans know what past stars of the league are up to.
Granted, it is next to impossible to provide an update on everyone, but for each segment there will be a nice cross-section of players from NCAA Division 1 and Division 3 to CIS to those who are toiling with Canadian collegiate teams.
Listed below are recent statistics of what some of the players have accomplished so far this year and in some cases those numbers will be augmented with what they achieved last year. They are not listed in any particular order, but their former SJHL teams will be referenced with the update.
Dustin Gorgi, Battlefords North Stars – four goals and eight assists in 12 games with Red Deer College.
Greg Moro, Humboldt Broncos – one goal and four assists in 11 games with NCAA Div 1 Clarkson.
Jarrett Fontaine, Humboldt Broncos and Weyburn Red Wings – six goals and six assists in 12 games with Trinity Western University.
Alex Smith, Flin Flon Bombers – three goals and five assists in 13 games with NCAA Div 1 Michigan Tech.
Joel Kocur, Flin Flon Bombers – zero points in seven games with NCAA Div 1 American International College.
Kris Joyce, La Ronge Ice Wolves – the league’s most valuable player from last year has a 2.72 goals against average and .914 save percentage in seven starts with the CIS’s University of Windsor.
Cole Porter, La Ronge Ice Wolves – one assist in five games with the CIS’s Wilfred Laurier.
Tristan Frei, Melfort Mustangs – one goal and three assists in 10 games with the CIS’s Univeristy of Regina.
Travis Mayan, Melfort Mustangs – the SJHL’s leading scorer in each of the last two seasons is now playing for the LaCombe Generals of the Chinook Hockey League where he has a goal and two assists in six games.
Kris Spriggs, Nipawin Hawks – three goals and four assists in nine games with the NCAA Div 1 Niagara University.
Alexi Thibaudeau, Notre Dame Hounds – 5.00 goals-against average and .852 save percentage in four games with the CIS’s University of Moncton.
Jack Burgart, Weyburn Red Wings – the SJHL’s top goaltender from a year ago has yet to play for NCAA Div 1 Bemidji State, but he did attend a Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp this summer.
Jake Erickson, Battlefords North Stars – left the SJHL a year ago and played one year with NCAA Div 1 Air Force, but this year has one assist in two games with Div 3 Norwich.
Chris Rauckman, Flin Flon Bombers – spent last year with the CIS’s University of Prince Edward Island where he had one assist in 27 games. This year he too is with the LaCombe Generals and has yet to register a point in two games.
Simon Hofley, Flin Flon Bombers – had a 2.71 GAA last year in 27 games with NCAA Div 1 Canisius College, but this year has been in just one game and has a 6.00 GAA.
Charley Manley, Estevan Bruins – has yet to collect a point in nine games with NCAA Div 3 RPI.
Rylan Pashovitz, Humboldt Broncos – had a 3.77 GAA in 19 games with NCAA Div 1 Arizona State last year, but this season has appeared in just three games and has a 4.82 GAA.
Evan Weninger, Kindersley Klippers – was brilliant last year with a 2.46 GAA and .923 save percentage in 21 games with NCAA Div 1 Nebraska-Omaha and this year is off to another solid start with a 2.69GAA in seven games.
Marc Dubeau, Kindersley Klippers – had 14 points in 36 games as a freshman last year at NCAA Div 1 American International College. This year he has yet to register a point in nine games.
Adam Fauchoux, Melfort Mustangs – played 25 games last year and tallied 15 points for NCAA Div 3 Concordia University. This year he has three goals in his first six games.
Landon Robin, Melfort and La Ronge – had 16 points in 27 games with NCAA Div 1 University of Central Oklahoma. He is off to another great start with five points in 16 games this year.
Landon Farrell, Melville Millionaires – In his second season at St. Mary’s of Minnesota, a NCAA Division 3 team, and after a nine-point campaign last year has one assist in six matches this time around.
Joe O’Brien, Nipawin Hawks – Not off to a blazing start as his 4.56 goals-against average in four games is sharply higher than the 3.18 he posted in 11 appearances last year with NCAA Division 1 Niagara University.
Spencer Trapp, Notre Dame Hounds – has been solid on the NCAA Division 1 Holy Cross blueline notching three goals and 10 assists last year and so far has eight helpers in 10 games this season.
Sam Aulie, Notre Dame Hounds – played in 28 games for the CIS’s University of Prince Edward Island last year racking up 13 points on five goals and eight assists. This year he already has seven points in 12 games.
Blake Young, Battlefords North Stars – it has taken three seasons for him to score his first NCAA Division 1 goal, but Young has done that this year with a goal and an assist in his first eight games with the NCAA Division 1 University of Minnesota-Duluth. Young had just one assist in 31 games over two season prior to this year.
Austin Daae, Estevan Bruins – he was all over the place last year playing professional hockey for five teams ending in Berlin. This year he is with the Watertown Wolves and has one assist in two games.
Devin Buffalo, Flin Flon Bombers – his workload will likely get busier after posting a shutout last week with NCAA Division 1 Dartmouth College. In five games this season he has a 2.66 GAA and .913 save percentage. Last year he also appeared in five contests posting a 2.13 GAA and .925 save percentage.
Landon Hiebert, Flin Flon Bombers – is the captain this year of Lindenwood University of the ACHA and in 12 games has nine goals and 14 assists.
Gio Bombini, Kindersley Klippers – already has more points half the games with NCAA Division 1 American International College having notched a goal and two assists in 19 games where last year he had just one goal in 34 contests.
Sebastien Beauregard, La Ronge Ice Wolves – he too is going to have new career highs with the CIS’s University of Windsor as he already has matched his totals – 5-4-9 – from last year in just 12 games this season.
Tad Kozun, Nipawin Hawks – he had a stellar season last year with NCAA Division 1 University of Alaska Anchorage scoring 13 times and setting up seven others in 34 games. This year he has three goals in the first eight games.
Carson Grolla, Notre Dame Hounds – in his fourth year at American International College, Grolla has an assist through the first five games after collecting five helpers in 24 games last year.
Brady and Chase Norrish, Yorkton Terriers – the twins have been nothing short of dynamic since joining NCAA Division 1 Rochester Institute of Technology three years ago. Both are leaders on the squad with Brady having amassed six goals and 10 assists in 39 games last year while Chase had 8-13-21 totals. This year they are both once again off to great starts with Brady collecting nine assists in the first 11 games and Chase contributing four goals and three helpers in the same span.
As mentioned, there are dozens of players with SJHL ties extending their careers at post-secondary institutions. These were just some of the highlights and later in the season some of them will be updated with other former players also getting mentioned.
Hopefully this will provide some inspiration to current players as there are plenty of opportunities to extend their playing days in addition to picking up a valuable education. Just bear down, get the SAT’s completed and you will get noticed. Some self promotion doesn’t hurt either.