HUMBOLDT — Bantam AA Bronco Ty Sundholm was sitting in class in Lanigan when his phone buzzing last Friday.
It was his father – and coach – Eric letting him know the Nipawin Hawks had chosen him in the sixth round of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Bantam Draft.
Ty, who lives in Drake, was shocked by the news of being the 69th overall pick. He said it was “pretty awesome,” but understand now the work begins to continue to develop to reach the Junior A level – or further.
Ty was one of three bantam AA Humboldt Broncos chosen in the draft. Three other players on the squad were auto-protected by the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos.
“I’m really, really proud of the guys and happy to see that their hard work is being recognized,” Eric said. “It says a lot about hockey in Humboldt that they have guys that are recognized at a different level. It makes me happy as a coach to see that the guys who put in the time and effort get rewarded.”
Selections are at least a year away from playing in the SJHL. Players cannot play full time in the league in their 15-year-old season. Many do not crack Junior A rosters until their 18-year-old seasons. Next season most players will head to the midget ranks. For example, Sundholm hopes to play midget AAA, but if that doesn’t work out, he said he would be happy to play midget AA in Humboldt.
The SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos opted to auto-protected the rights to three hometown products. Defenceman Brody Mortensen had seven goals and 27 points in 31 games last winter. Forward Tyler Lindal accumulated 23 points, with 15 goals, in 31 games. Fellow forward McLaren Paulson had 20 points last season.
Lanigan’s Kylynn Olafson was chosen in the first round, sixth overall, by the Flin Flon Bombers. As reported in the Journal, the talented forward was picked in the seventh round, 150th overall, by the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Western Hockey League Bantam earlier this year. The team’s captain had 17 goals and 36 points in 26 games for the bantam AA Broncos last season.
His teammate, Ty, is also a forward and had 15 goals and 32 points in 31 games last season. Eric described Ty as a team guy who is dependable.
“He responds well to adverse situations,” Eric said. “He likes being out there at the end of the game and likes being involved in critical situations.”
The Battlefords North Stars, led by Humboldt product Brayden Klimosko, grabbed bantam AA Bronco Jackson Allan in the third round, 35th overall. The forward from Davidson had 29 points in as many games last season.
While Eric was pleased to see some players being wanted by SJHL squads, he emphasized the importance of everyone on the bantam AA Broncos.
“To me, it’s a team game and not about one or two people,” he said. “It is nice that we had a few people recognized, but that doesn’t speak for the whole team. I was proud of everyone this season. It is too bad that you can’t draft everybody.”