HUMBOLDT — Both Tristan Shewchuk and the Humboldt Broncos are thrilled that his hockey journey brought him to town.
The Saskatoon product was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Draft by Melville. The Broncos acquired Shewchuk this past summer and he has flourished in Green and Gold. As of Sunday, the 18-year-old forward was second on the team in points and goals.
“I’ve been blessed to have great billets and to be on this team,” said Shewchuk, who billets with the Brochus. “What I’ve enjoyed the most about being on the Broncos is the group of guys that we have on the team. Our team is very tight knit and close, so I’ve really enjoyed that aspect of being a Bronco. The community is very engaged and supportive of our team. I enjoy the opportunities to meet more members of the community and participate in different community-based activities, like the people I met at the golf tournament.”
The 5-foot-5, 160-pound Shewchuk had 20 goals and 38 points through 36 games. As a second year SJHL player, his experience has been valuable on a rookie-laden Broncos squad.
“Tristan is not the biggest guy by stature, but he competes on every puck,” head coach Scott Barney said. “He wants to win the battle. No matter where the puck is, he is first on the puck.”
Last season Shewchuk adjusted to the Junior A level while contributing for Melville. The former Saskatoon Contacts midget AAA player said the biggest adjustment was the physicality of the SJHL.
“Everyone is faster and stronger, so the hitting is more visible than in midget,” Shewchuk said. “With that, I realized I had to change my game by engaging more physically while playing to be able to compete at this level.”
Partway through this season Shewchuk has already far surpassed the 10 goals and 20 points he posted in 51 contests as a rookie. When asked how he has been able to produce more points, Shewchuk pointed to his off-season training regimen and chemistry with his linemates Logan Foster and Luke Spadafora.
Early in the 2018-19 season, Shewchuk and Foster played on a line together in Melfort. This season they have been reunited in Humboldt and excelled. Foster paces the Broncos with 24 goals, 31 assists, and 55 points.
“Logan is a very talented hockey player,” Shewchuk said. “It is a pleasure to play with him. He understands the game very well, which makes him easy to play with and to create scoring chances. Also, off the ice we get along very well which helps with our on-ice performance.”
When Foster was swapped last winter to Humboldt, going the other way in the deal was Spadafora. Shewchuk and Spadafora often played together on the Millionaires – with the latter earning SJHL Rookie of the Year honours. Now they are playing together again in Humboldt. Spadafora has three goals and 13 points in nine games with the Broncos.
”Logan Foster and Luke Spadafora are very talented hockey players and we all help each other on the ice, which makes us all produce,” Shewchuk said.