The 19-year-old “Problem”


Glenn Gawdin (photo by Darwin Knelsen for

First a note about the blog I know it hasn’t been updated in a while. I’ve been adding audio to my post-game stories on Swift Current Online and figuring out what exactly this blog’s place should be in how I cover the team.

For today I see it as a place to respond to the 19-year-old question.

I often hear fans online and offline talking about the glut of 19-year-olds the Broncos have on their roster as if it is a large problem that will severely handcuff the team and will be particularly difficult to resolve.

Yes having this many 19-year-olds does mean there will be more veteran turnover than usual on the roster next year. However, the Broncos also only had one overage player this year until the addition of Ryan Graham that came without subtracting anyone from the current group. The other reality is that there isn’t necessarily a real glut of 1997s for next year.

Take a closer look at the crop for next year…

  • You have the goalies. Realistically the Broncos will have to make a decision and go with one of Child or Burman next year as overages. Looking at the trade market I suspect the return they get whether that deal is now or the summer is likely similar. There’s always a team looking for a solid overage goalie. That gets them down to 8.
  • Lane Pederson and Max Lajoie are signed to NHL contracts and eligible for the AHL next season. There’s a chance those rosters could be packed and we could see them as overage players, but that doesn’t happen very often and you have to operate as if you are going to lose them. That drops the number down to 6.
  • Glenn Gawdin isn’t signed yet with St. Louis. If the Blues for some weird reason don’t sign him he would surely get picked in this June’s draft and that team would still be able to sign him and put him in the AHL. Is there a chance you get Gawdin back next year? Maybe, but you again can’t count on it because there’s an obvious path for him to the AHL next year. That drops the number down to 5.

So that leaves you with Conner Chaulk, Arthur Miller, Brandan Arnold, Kade Jensen and one of the goalies.

Is that really that complicated a 19-year-old situation? Is getting some kind of late round draft pick or list player (based on similar deals for depth veterans around the league) for one of the 1997s lower on the depth chart right now really worth the hit it would cause to the current team’s depth just so they can say their 1997 number is down?

Now what were to happen if you got lucky as a team and got one of Pederson, Lajoie or Gawdin back next year? It’s a bonus and a good problem to have. You sure can’t plan for it. You have to plan not to have them.

Also there is still a strong returning core for next year. Not including the possible overage guys you can bring five defencemen back. Not including the possible overage guys you can bring eight forwards back. That’s not exactly starting over. Assuming you keep two of the overage skaters and one goalie next year that means the Broncos can still return fifteen skaters and a goalie from this year’s team next fall. The transition isn’t nearly as drastic as some speculate it could be.

What I’m suggesting is that the 19-year-old “problem” really isn’t really that significant. If anything to me it’s a benefit to have a strong crew of 19-year-olds in place to bring a solid veteran presence on a team pushing for a strong playoff run.

Now if the real question is less about the 19-year-olds and more a buy or sell question that is a completely different conversation. There will always be those in any given year who think you need to sell what assets you have now to build the future of the organization. There will also always be those who want to see their team make a strong push and go for it. There’s good debates to have on either side of that coin or even somewhere in the middle. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Broncos do.

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Post-Game: Broncos 5 Hurricanes 4 (OT)


Colby Sissons (photo by Darwin Knelsen for

Another very impressive comeback fell short for the Swift Current Broncos.

Down 4-1 going into the third period the Broncos battled back as they have several times this season and forced overtime. Brennan Menell then scored the winner to give Lethbridge a 5-4 victory.

“I didn’t like anything about our game in the first two periods,” said Broncos assistant coach Jamie Heward. “I just thought we were lazy at times, didn’t pay attention to detail and were kind of going through the motions and it ended up biting us. A tale of two different hockey teams… into a team that worked hard, really found some energy and came out and really played a good (third) period.”

Click here for the full recap from Swift Current Online

The Broncos visit Kootenay on Wednesday.

Highlights of Robertson Family Group Broncos Hockey on The Eagle 94.1 FM:

Post-Game with Broncos D Max Lajoie:

Post-Game with Broncos assistant coach Jamie Heward:

Pre-Game with Hurricanes broadcaster Dustin Forbes:

Pre-Game with Broncos F Kaden Elder:

Pre-Game with Broncos Coach/Director of Player Personnel Manny Viveiros:

Pre-Game with Hurricanes coach Brent Kisio:

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Broncos/Pats Lineups, Video Preview

Broncos Pats Pederson

Lane Pederson against Regina (photo by Darwin Knelsen for





Scratches: Gawdin (inj), Johnson (inj), Blocker, Mole, Adams (inj)





Scratches: Hollett, Harrison, Barteaux, Zablocki, Steel or Holmes

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Post-Game: Broncos 3 Raiders 1

Broncos Raiders Lajoie

Max Lajoie (photo by Darwin Knelsen for

The early returns on Ryan Graham as a Swift Current Bronco are overwhelmingly positive.

Graham scored twice more tonight including the game winner as the Broncos beat the Raiders 3-1 in Prince Albert.

He has now scored three times and added three assists in his two games since the Blades traded the veteran forward to Swift Current.

“The goals are nice,” said Broncos associate coach Ryan Smith. “First one he creates with his speed… second one a big body around the net on the power play. I like his intensity he seems to be going after a lot of loose pucks winning a lot of battles. He’s just added a little bit more of that veteran speed element to our game.”

Click here for my full recap on Swift Current Online

Post-Game with Broncos associate coach Ryan Smith:

Highlights of Robertson Family Group Broncos Hockey on The Eagle 94.1 FM:

Pre-Game with Broncos coach Manny Viveiros:

Pre-Game with Raiders coach Marc Habscheid:

Pre-Game with Raiders broadcaster Drew Wilson:

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Post-Game: Broncos 5 Blades 1


Tyler Steenbergen converts a Ryan Graham pass (photo by Darwin Knelsen for

Click here for my recap on Swift Current Online

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Broncos add overage scorer Graham


Ryan Graham (photo from

The Swift Current Broncos have bolstered a banged up lineup by making a deal for goal scoring forward Ryan Graham.

Swift Current sent a 2017 2nd round bantam draft pick and a conditional 2018 4th round pick to Saskatoon for Calgary product.

Graham is a two-time former 20 goal scorer in the WHL as he put up 20 in 2014-15 and 22 in 2015-16.

“Graham is a player we have had our eye on since the beginning of the season,” Broncos Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel Manny Viveiros told the team website. “He is a skilled player that we are very excited about and he will help our hockey team. We’re happy to have him on board.”

This season Graham was on the shelf with an injury and didn’t make his debut until October 28th. He has a goal and 4 assists for the Blades in 11 games and has heated up lately with 3 points in his last 4 games.

“Ryan has been a loyal Blade for over 4 seasons and has been a great ambassador for our organization on and off the ice,” Blades General Manager Colin Priestner said on their website. “Knowing our overage situation, we met with Ryan and both sides agreed a change of scenery for his final season of junior hockey would be beneficial for both Ryan and the Blades.”

Click here for my full story on the trade

Hoping to get some audio reaction to the deal sometime Monday. The newest Bronco will suit up against his old team coming up when the Blades visit Swift Current on Tuesday.


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Post-Game: Tigers 5 Broncos 4 (SO)

Broncos Tigers battle

photo by Darwin Knelsen for

Time and time again the Swift Current Broncos are proving you should never count them out of a hockey game.

Swift Current came back from down 4-2 in the third period to force overtime before losing 5-4 to the Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday night.

“Feel pretty good about getting a point,” said Broncos Associate Coach Ryan Smith. “There’s no quit in our team. Playing a pretty good team here. Top in the Central Division there’s a reason why. They shoot the puck hard, they skate hard and they play hard. We knew we were going to in for it tonight and I thought our guys responded well.”

Click here for my full recap on Swift Current Online

Post-Game with Broncos Associate Coach Ryan Smith:

Highlights of Robertson Family Group Broncos Hockey on The Eagle 94.1 FM:

Pre-Game with Tigers broadcaster Bob Ridley:

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