HUMBOLDT — This season has been a bit of a homecoming for Humboldt Broncos forward Max Gudnason.
The 18-year-old from Wynyard played two years of bantam AA hockey in Humboldt. Gudnason spent the last three seasons with the Saskatoon Blazers midget AAA team.
“I enjoy being close to my hometown and being a part of the organization and being able to experience our town,” said Gudnason of his return to Humboldt.
The Broncos are certainly pleased to have the 5-foot-11, 177-pounder in green and gold. He has chipped in with nine goals and 19 points in 44 games. Gudnason paced the Broncos, as of Sunday, with 159 penalty minutes.
“He brings a lot of passion to the game, energy, a physical component that we don’t have,” Humboldt head coach Scott Barney said. “He’s an intimidating player when he’s on the ice. He also has great skill too... He can move up and down the line from the first line to the fourth line. It’s great that he can fill those roles.”
Barney also praised Gudnason’s play on the penalty kill. He has capitalized on those shorthanded opportunities to turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Gudnason had three shorthanded points and was second in the SJHL in that category among rookies.
The rookie joined the Humboldt team after being in training camp last fall with the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos. Gudnason said the experience at the WHL camp “has helped me become more confident on the ice.”
In Humboldt, Gudnason, who billets with Amanda and Cory Schlachter, has endeared himself to those in the organization. Barney said his teammates love him.
“I know from the coaching staff side of it, we love having Max out there every night competing for us the way he does,” Barney said. “He brings a lot of energy to his teammates as well. He’ll do anything for any of the guys in there.”
Gudnason said the thing he has enjoyed the most this season with the Broncos “is the group of guys we have in the dressing room.” Barney said that Gudnason is “a player that has a great future here in Humboldt.”
“We’re really happy with the way Max has played and grown as a player.”