Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Bruins Impress At 2019 SJHL/MJHL Showcase

The Power Dodge Estevan Bruins were well represented at the 2019 SJHL/MJHL Showcase held on January 14th and 15th at The Co-Operators Centre in Regina, SK.

Eight Bruins players were invited to show off their skills in front of dozens of scouts from various levels of hockey including USports, NCAA college, and the National Hockey League (NHL).

VIDEO: Bruins on Team Schwartz

VIDEO: Bruins on Team Kunitz and Team Mitchell

There were three separate teams for each league with the Bruins having representation on each squad.


On Team Schwartz (featuring only players born in 2000 or 2001), goaltender Grant Boldt, defenceman Kade McMillen and forward Isaiah Thomas played against Team Garbutt (MJHL). Boldt started the first game of the showcase making 25 saves in a 4-3 shootout loss. Boldt made several eye-popping saves and was active in playing the puck, garning interest from scouts in attendance following the game.

Isaiah Thomas and Kade McMillen both played significant minutes and in all situations in both games. Thomas registered an assist in the second game on a shorthanded goal by Melfort Parker Fofonoff, on what ended up as the game-winning goal in a 4-2 win on Tuesday morning.

Bruins Head Coach/GM Chris Lewgood shared coaching duties on the bench for Team Schwartz along with Clayton Jardine of the Kindersley Klippers. Bruins trainer Dylan Lafrentz was also on the bench for the two games.


Bruins forward Will Koop was the lone member of the team playing on Team Mitchell.

On Monday afternoon, Koop registered an assist during an 8-5 victory over Team Zajac (MJHL). Team Mitchell was shutout 4-0 on Tuesday afternoon by Team Belfour (MJHL).

A late addition to the showcase as he only recently returned from injury, Koop played right wing with Notre Dame forwards Jared Hamm and Marshall Wilton for the duration of the showcase, and was impressive despite playing away from his natural center-ice position.


Four Bruins were on the roster for Team Kunitz, which played the evening game on both days of the showcase.

On the blueline, Johnny Witzke played with partner Calvon Boots (Flin Flon Bombers) and Jake Heerspink played with partner Matthew Fletcher (Battlefords North Stars). Neither defenceman were on the ice for an even-strength goal-against in either game, showing off their shutdown ability. While both players were held off the scoresheet in a 3-1 win on Monday over Team Belfour (MJHL), Witzke earned an assist on the eventual game-winning goal by Nate Hooper (Flin Flon Bombers) in an 8-1 win over Team Zajac (MJHL) on Tuesday.

Up front, linemates Michael McChesney and Turner Ripplinger were able to play together at the showcase along with winger Daylan Marchi (Flin Flon Bombers). The three played very well together in both games, generating plenty of offensive chances. While they were held off the scoresheet on Monday, Both McChesney and Ripplinger assisted on a goal by Marchi in the 3rd period on Tuesday.

For McChesney, Witzke, Heerspink and Koop, who played with the MJHL in 2018, it was the second experience at the SJHL/MJHL showcase.

Meanwhile, Ripplinger was able to play in the event in his final year of junior hockey, while Boldt, Thomas and McMillen will all have the opportunity to be featured in the event for the next two seasons.

Top: (Jake Heerspink, Michael McChesney, Johnny Witzke, Turner Ripplinger, Will Koop. Bottom: Chris Lewgood – Coach, Kade McMillen, Isaiah Thomas, Grant Boldt, Dylan Lafrentz – Trainer)

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