Kaden Elder (photo by Darwin Knelsen for scbroncos.com)
A few Broncos are in town this week helping out with the Crescent Point Broncos Hockey School. I had the chance to chat with Kaden Elder and Tanner Mole as they get set for a big season for both of them individually.
Another busy summer at work, painting our house and time at the lake with the kids has caught up with me. I was just thinking the other day I do miss doing this blog. Whether or not I can kickstart it again has yet to be seen! Believe it when you see it, right?
Coming up on Saturday is one of the best days of the summer every year in my opinion. The Swift Current Broncos alumni will be gathering at Elmwood Golf Club for their annual golf tournament which has grown to mean much more in recent years. MNP took over the title sponsorship last summer and in doing so brought the tournament to a partnership with Safe Places and Kidsport as well. Now it’s not only a great opportunity to bring back alumni and have fun day on the course, it’s also a chance to fundraise for some very important causes.
The proceeds from the tournament are now split between Safe Places and the Broncos Education Fund. There is also a bin set up at the event for used sports equipment that Kidsport can get to families in need. The three causes involved seem so naturally linked to the Broncos alumni it’s a great fit. Former Broncos forward Jeremy Rondeau and his wife Kirsten have been chairing the tournament for six years now and have been doing an awesome job. When MNP stepped up as the title sponsor last year they’ve taken over so many responsibilities they deserve a ton of credit.
Beyond all that it is always a really fun day with lots of laughs and a chance to visit with alumni, fans, sponsors and a large contingent of people who love the Broncos while supporting important causes in their community.
This year it’s a great mix of Broncos legends and more recent alumni. At last check we have all-time leading scorer Todd Holt, Darren McLean, Lloyd Pelletier, Zack Smith, Jeremy Rondeau, Zac Mackay, Andy Schneider, Ben Ondrus, John Dahl, Jeff Kirwan, Andy Blanke, Blair Stengler, Travis Brisebois, Daniel Dale, Josh Derko, Brent Benson, Colby Cave, Dalton Reum, Shae Havorko, Tony Mohagen, Tim Tisdale, Todd Sceviour, Bobby Zinkan and Graham Black.
Some of those guys are here every year consistently, some are here for the first time, some are back for the first time in a long time… it’s a nice mix. There are several former captains on that list including a few guys who are still making their living playing hockey today. There are some all-time legends on that list. You can bet there are going to be some great stories flowing through Elmwood on Saturday. Again kudos to MNP, the Rondeaus, all the sponsors and everyone who has made this tournament possible again this year.
(AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Speaking of Zack Smith I had a chance to catch up with him about a month ago when he was here doing some interviews to promote his golf tournament that happened last week in Maple Creek for some great causes there. It’s been a great couple of years for him. He has two of his best years as a professional under two different coaches. That should go a long way in proving he can contribute to any facet of the game at the NHL level and is a big part of him earning a very nice contract extension from Ottawa. More importantly than that he got married this summer. Congrats to Zack and Brittany! Best wishes on a long life together.
I chatted with Zack about the year he had in helping Ottawa all the way to the Eastern Conference final and a variety of other topics:
It was a great year for Zack and I think the best is yet to come for him.
For all of you golfing I look forward to seeing you on Saturday!
Aleksi Heponiemi & Glenn Gawdin (photo by Darwin Knelsen for scbroncos.com)
Any player who has played high level hockey has likely at some point imagined hearing their name called at the NHL Draft.
That could become a reality for members of the Swift Current Broncos this weekeend.
Three players on their current roster are ranked by NHL Central Scouting ahead of the draft and at least a couple others could also find themselves in the picture.
WHL Rookie of the Year Aleksi Heponiemi comes in at 26th among North American Skaters and is the only Bronco projected to be close to first round pick. He is ranked 50th by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, 52nd by The Hockey News and 58th by SportsNet.
Defenceman Artyom Minulin sits 58th among North American skaters on the NHL Central Scouting rankigns. He’s 68th on The Hockeey News list and 70th on the SportsNet list.
50-goal scorer abd WHL Sportsmanship Award winner Tyler Steenberge is ranked 70th by NHL Central Scouting in his second draft. The skilled forward was passed over in his first year of eligibility, but improved his goal totals from 20 in 2015-16 to a league leading 51 in 2016-17.
Other Broncos that could get the nod this weekend include captain Glenn Gawdin who re-enters the draft after being picked by St. Louis in 2015. The Blues didn’t sign Gawdin to a contract by June 1st and he is now eligible for the draft again.
Defenceman Sahvan Khaira has also had some draft buzz after a very strong second half and playoff in his 18-year-old season. His brother Jujhar Khaira plays for Edmonton in the NHL.
Max Lajoie was the lone Bronco drafted in 2016, but Colby Sissons and Lane Pederson both signed with NHL teams as undrafted free agents in the fall.
Swift Current had Julius Honka picked in the first round in 2014 and Jake DeBrusk in 2015.
The first round of the NHL Draft is lated for tonight in Chicago. The teams then pick rounds 2-7 on Saturday.
Broncos Director of Hockey Operations Jamie Porter:
The Swift Current Broncos took care of business quickly with first round pick Ben King. The Vernon, BC product has signed his WHL standard player’s agreement and is set for life as a Bronco. I had the chance to chat with Jamie Porter about that and what to expect from King. It sounds like things are progressing nicely with the other players and families from the draft. Getting King officially on board is a great start.
What an honour for the Elmwood Golf and Country Club! First a note that they are a sponsor of this blog and I always appreciate them making hosting the audio and all that kind of stuff possible with their support.
They are big Broncos fans over there too.
One thing Elmwood does better than almost any other place in Canada is run an active and fun junior program. I know it because my kids are in it. They’ve gone from never swinging a golf club a month ago to asking about it all the time. They’ve even now been given the honour as Future Links Facility of the Year. So what has caused this success? I asked Jeff Chambers from Elmwood about the history of their program, why it is so strong now and how to keep it growing.
Interview with Jeff Chambers:
The season is well underway at Elmwood and it’s exciting how close their renovations are to complete. This is already a great course but is going to be top notch. I can’t wait for the MNP Broncos Alumni Golf Tournament at Elmwood again this year on July 29th.
Draft day in the WHL saw the Broncos select eight players including two in the first round. Here is a collection of links and audio from the draft today. We are hoping to talk to more of the players in the coming days and weeks to give you an introduction to the future of the team.