Bohan’s smooth skating helps Humboldt Broncos defence

HUMBOLDT — While Jackson Bohan plays defence for the Humboldt Broncos, he is also a key contributor to the team’s offensive success.

The 18-year-old Cranbrook, B.C. product had 12 points, with a goal, in 18 games, as of Sunday. He was first on the Broncos in defenceman scoring. The first-year player also ranked fifth among rookie scorers and 10th among defenceman in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

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“He skates the puck well. Probably one of the smoothest skating defencemen in the league,” Humboldt head coach Scott Barney said. “He realty gets the puck from the D-zone to the O-zone.”

The Broncos bench boss said that Bohan’s skills really show on the powerplay and in other offensive situations. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder has six power play assists. As of Sunday, that ranked him fifth among defencemen and first among rookies.

As Bohan learns the ropes in the SJHL, Barney said he is getting better defensively every game.

“When he gets back to those pucks faster, it makes him a better player,” the head coach said. “He can elude the forecheck coming similar to [fellow rookie blue liner] Cody Hough. It’s great to have those defencemen who can really skate the puck. We want to be a fast team and Jackson has been a huge addition for us back there on the backend.”

In addition to Bohan’s skills, the Broncos have appreciated his personality and intangibles.

“Really like Jackson’s character, his drive, and determination,” Barney said. “He wants to learn everyday and become a better player. He has been a great teammate in the room. For me, it’s great to have him here. He’s a big part of our future here in Humboldt.”

Last season, Bohan played Junior B close to home with the Kootenay International Hockey League’s Kimberley Dynamiters, who made it all the way to the league finals. He also competed in seven regular season games for the B.C. Hockey League’s Surrey Eagles at the Junior A level. He feels these experiences have helped him this season. “Playing in Kimberley as a 17-year-old, I was playing against 20-year-olds, who are way bigger and stronger,” Bohan said. “In Surrey, I got to use my speed to my advantage and have been able to carry that to the SJHL as one of my tools to hopefully lead me to success with the team and further my goals of obtaining a scholarship.”

Regarding moving up to the SJHL and Junior A level full time, he said:

“The biggest adjustments for me so far have been tightening up my defensive game and changing some of my habits in order to continue to improve my game. Off ice, the biggest adjustment has been the weather – particularly [last week]. It can get really windy, which I am not used to, and it can get really cold out.”

Weather aside, Bohan has appreciated his time in Saskatchewan so far. Bohan and teammate Braiden Koran enjoy billeting with the Cannon clan. He said it is “always entertaining at the Cannons’ and there is definitely never a dull moment in the house.”

When Bohan arrived in Humboldt, Koran, who is from Kimberley, was already with the team. The duo are great friends and have played hockey together, including with the Dynamiters last winter, since they were kids.

“I feel lucky to have a friend who I grew up with to make settling in a little easier,” Bohan said.

The player noted that Koran, a forward, convinced him to come to the Broncos. Bohan is glad he did.

“I’ve enjoyed Humboldt since the moment I moved here,” he said. “I remember feeling like one of the guys after being with the team for only a couple of hours, which was surprising as I was a late arrival to camp.”

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