The Melfort Mustangs will be well represented at the SJHL/MJHL Showcase that takes place in Winnipeg, Man. at the end of the month. The two-day event will take place on January 31 and February 1 at the Seven Oaks Sportsplex. The SJHL will send two teams featuring players born in 2002 and 2003, and they will send one team featuring players born in 2004 and later. The MJHL will do the same. For the Mustangs, a total of 11 players will be heading to the Showcase.
“We are extremely proud of all 11 of our players,” said Mustangs Head Coach and General Manager Trevor Blevins. “They have been rewarded for their hard work this season and now get the opportunity to showcase themselves to programs from across North America against some of the best players from Manitoba.”
Blevins will join Team Gold at the event as an Assistant Coach to Battleford North Stars Assistant Brayden Klimosko.
Team Gold (2002 & 2003-born players)
#4 – Leyton Holoien (Emerald Park, SK)
Tied for 10th in scoring among defencemen, Leyton Holoien has been a key cog for the Mustangs offence. His 22 points in 29 games are tied for seventh on the team and he has already surpassed his point total from a season ago. Not only has Holoien been a stalwart offensively for Melfort, but he has been extremely reliable on the blue line for the Mustangs.
#9 – Ben Tkachuk (Gronlid, SK)
While it took 10 games for the Mustangs Captain to score his first goal of the season, Ben Tkachuk has still produced at a high level. His 1.09 points-per-game is third on the team and he’s tied for the team lead with 20 assists through 23 games. Tkachuk continues to show that he’s one of the elite two-way players in the SJHL. This will be Tkachuk’s second SJHL/MJHL Showcase after he attended in 2019/2020.
#18 – Ryan Duguay (Edmonton, AB)
Since joining the Mustangs in mid-October, Ryan Duguay has produced offence at an elite level. His 22 points are tied for seventh on the team, and his eight goals are third. He’s also earned multiple points in three of his last four contests. The 2003-born forward is heating up at the right time as the Mustangs head down the stretch.
#23 – Dawson Leroux (Lethbridge, AB)
Consistency has been the key for Dawson Leroux. The 2002-born forward has played in all but two games for the Mustangs and is second on the team in points and goals, and he leads the team with seven powerplay goals. The Mustangs Assistant Captain is also currently on a six game point streak.
#25 – Hayden Tuba (South Delta, B.C.)
At both ends of the ice, Hayden Tuba has been a rock for the Mustangs, playing in all situations and producing at a high level. He’s the team leader among defencemen in scoring, and his 25 points are seventh in the SJHL among defencemen. Tuba has also earned points in 11 of his last 13 contests.
#29 – Joel Favreau (Prince Albert, SK)
One half of arguably the best goaltending tandem in SJHL, Joel Favreau has been stellar for the Mustangs this season. His .916 save-percentage is tied for sixth in the SJHL, and his 2.43 goals-against-average is fourth. His two shutouts are tied for third in the SJHL.
#43 – Leith Olafson (Wasa, B.C.)
One of the Mustangs most-improved players from a season ago, Leith Olafson has continued his upward trajectory as a defender. His offence has skyrocketed in 2022/2023 to the tune of 21 points in 31 games, smashing his 15 points in 46 games total from a season ago. He’s relied on to play against some of the other teams best and he does it well.
#55 – Kevin Minnoch (Sherwood Park, AB)
Cementing himself as one of the premier puck-moving defencemen in the SJHL, Kevin Minnoch leads the team in powerplay points with 14. His 24 points overall are second among defencemen on the team, and tied for eighth in the SJHL. Minnoch was named Defenceman of the Week twice in the month of December, and was also named Defenceman of the Month. He’s got nine points over his last four games.
Team Blue (2004-born and later players)
#14 – Zac Somers (Melfort, SK)
It’s been a wild few weeks and months for Zac Somers. The local product had goals in seven straight games before he headed east to the World Junior A Challenge for Team Canada West, one of two SJHL players to be named to the team. Somers is the highest scoring 2004-born player in the league with 31 points in 27 games and his 17 goals are tied for seventh in the SJHL. He is also recently committed to the University of Maine (NCAA Division I)
#20 – Riley Ashe (Warman, SK)
If you didn’t know who Riley Ashe was, you would probably think he’s an 18 or 19 year-old in the SJHL, but at just 16-years-old, the former 1st Round Pick has starred for the Mustangs this season. He leads all rookies in points and assists with 26 and 20 respectively. He’s also one of just a handful of 2006-born players in the league. Ashe is also committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha (NCAA Division I).
#31 – James Venne (Saskatoon, SK)
The second-half of arguable the best goaltending tandem in the SJHL, James Venne has been sensational whenever he takes the net for Melfort. He hasn’t lost a game in regulation since Nov. 2, and has only lost once overall in that stretch, spanning nine starts. His .917 save-percentage is fifth in the SJHL, and his 2.47 goals-against-average is fifth as well.
Team Gold will take on the MJHL’s Team Red on Tuesday, January 31, and then MJHL’s Team Black on Wednesday, February 1. Team Blue will play a pair of games against the MJHL’s Team White on Tuesday and Wednesday.