The Hinton Timberwolves continue to wheel and deal in building its roster for the upcoming Western States Hockey League (WSHL) junior season.
Hinton signed a pair of key forwards – Max Sturko and Brendan Auger – from last year’s Hinton Wildcats roster, and also added one of the top WSHL scorers from last season – Jamahl Eakett – via a trade with the Bellingham Blazers.
Auger, who played his minor hockey in Jasper, was the top Wildcats scorer last season with 32 goals and 40 assists for 72 points in 40 games, and wasn’t scared to mix it up either in wracking up 151 penalty minutes.
“We are thrilled to have Brendan return to Hinton for another season,” said head coach Jeff Richards. “We expect he will be a leader of our team.”
Sturko, a forward acquired by the Wildcats near the end of the year, earned two goals and 14 assists in 16 regular season games for Hinton. Richards is happy to have the Spruce Grove native back in Hinton for the Timberwolves.
“We are excited to have Max here from the start,” said head coach Jeff Richards. “By the end of last season he was a regular contributor to the offense. As a veteran of both the CJHL and WSHL we expect he will step up this year.”
Eakett – a 20-year-old forward from Provo, Utah – finished fifth in WSHL scoring with 50 goals and 64 assists in 46 regular season games for the Blazers.
He was traded to Hinton along with Brayden Harper in return for the playing rights of Deva Shahi, Riley Keyes and future considerations to Bellingham.
Eakett is the centrepiece of the trade but Harper has one year of junior experience playing 49 games in 2018-19 for Bellingham. The 19-year old scored six goals and 11 assists during his rookie campaign.
“We feel they are both players are going to add depth to our already experienced, capable core group,” said Richards
Shahi returns to the Blazers where he began his Junior career in 2017. He was acquired by Hinton in January playing the final 24 games of the season.
Keyes, 18, suited up for 34 games in Hinton last season scoring nine goals, 26 assists.
The acquisitions are the latest moves to beef up the roster, joining a number of previously announced signings.
The Timberwolves are preparing for their first season in the Western States Hockey League. They will be joined in the Provincial Division by the Edson Aeros and the Meadow Lake Mustangs, both holdover franchises from last season, as well as the Cold Lake Hornets and the Barrhead Bombers.
The organization is still looking for billet families, and anybody interested can contact Nick and Carlene Pratt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open tryouts for the Timberwolves are scheduled for August 30 – September 1 at the Dr. Duncan Murray Recreation Centre. Visit www.hintontimberwolvesjuniora.com for more info or to sign up.