The Manitoba Junior Hockey League and the Swan Valley Stampeders took a heavy hit in February, announcing the league would be cancelling the remainder of the 2020-21 hockey season due to COVID-19 Pandemic. The news hit the Manitoba hockey world hard but the ruling was respected due to the health and safety concerns of players, staff, fans, referees and volunteers.
With any negative comes a positive. We will shift our attention to some of the many Stampeder alumni who find themselves playing across the United States and overseas in several different leagues.
Brodie DuPont – Herning Blue Fox (DEN)
Is a well-travelled hockey player making several stops across the US and overseas. Many of you may remember this name as he was born and raised in St. Lazare playing his early years with the Bantam AAA Yellowhead Chiefs.
DuPont made the jump to the Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL) in 2003-04 putting up impressive numbers in regular season play. He tallied 25 goals, added 16 assists for 41 points in 51 regular season games. In 12 playoff games, the then 16-year-old would add five goals and one assist.
The following three years he found himself in the Western Hockey League playing for the Calgary Hitmen amassing 179 points (96 goals, 83 assists) in 257 games.
In 2005, he heard his name called at the NHL Draft. The New York Rangers selected the 6’2” 209 lbs forward in the 3rd round, 66th overall. He would make his NHL debut with the Rangers in 2010-11 playing just one game before returning to the AHL.
In 2007-08 he laced them up for Hartford (AHL), spending three seasons with the Wolf Pack before making stops in Connecticut (AHL), Milwaukee (AHL), Valpellice (Italy), Iserlohn (DEL), Norfolk (ECHL), Bakersfield (AHL), Greenville (AHL), Stockton (AHL), Dornbirner EC (EBEL), and finally finding a home with the Herning Blue Fox where he has entered into his second season with the club in Denmark. The now 32-year-old picked up 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) in 41 games last season. Through 41 games this season, DuPont has collected 43 points (21 goals, 22 assists).
Garrett Johnston – Utah Grizzlies (ECHL)
Another blast from the past. Travel back nine years and you will find the name Garrett Johnston listed in a Stampeder program. The youngster was drafted 63rd overall by the Stampeders in the 2010 Bantam draft. Before he made the opening day roster for the Stamps’ in 2012-13 he dressed for the Winnipeg Hawks U17 program (10-11) and the Winnipeg Thrashers AAA U18 program (11-12) tallying 65 points (17 goals, 48 assists) in 74 games.
Making the jump to Junior A can be tough on any young man but Garrett made the best of his time in the Valley collecting 35 points (10 goals, 25 assist) in 59 games.
Johnston left the Valley after playing just one season, making the jump to Major Junior. He joined the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL collecting 39 points (8 goals, 31 assists) in 124 games. He would finish his Junior career with the Chicoutimi Saqueneens (QMJHL) and Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL) in 2015-16.
Johnston returned home to Winnipeg where he attended the University of Manitoba. He would lace up the skates with the Bison (CWUAA) in 2016-17 dressing in 25 games, collecting four assists. He returned to competitive hockey in 2018-19 signing with the Birmingham Bulls (SPHL). He quickly climbed the ranks joining the Newfoundland Growlers (ECHL) where he would help lead his team to their first ever championship, capturing the 2019 Kelly Cup with a 4-3, Game 6 win over the Toledo Walleye. Along the way Johnston was called up to the Toronto Marlies (AHL) playing in one game.
The 6’2” 190 lbs defenceman finds himself back on the ice this year, in the ECHL, with the Utah Grizzlies. In 33 games so far this season he has collected three assists. Just recently the Winnipeg product signed a professional tryout agreement with the Henderson Silver Knights of the AHL, the farm club of the National Hockey Leagues Las Vegas Golden Knights.
Tristan Mullin – University of Vermont (NCAA)
Seven years ago Tristan Mullin put on a Swan Valley Stampeder jersey for the first time after he was acquired from the Dauphin Kings in 2014. Mullin lead the Stamps’ in scoring that year, collecting 52 points (24 goals, 28 assists) in 58 regular season games and one goal and three assists in four playoff games. The Cartwright product was then traded to the Powell River (BCHL) spending two full seasons with the Kings tallying 69 goals, adding 71 assists in 131 games to finish his junior career.
Mullin made the jump to university hockey in 2017-18 with Cornell (NCAA), spending three seasons with the Big Red in Ithaca, NY, . The 24-year-old has found himself suiting up for the Catamounts at the University of Vermont (NCAA) this season. In 11 games Mullin has collected four goals and one assist.
Last week Mullin signed an amateur tryout with the AHLs Cleveland Monsters.
Tristin Langan – Orlando Solar Bears (AHL)
A local Swan River product that has climbed the hockey ranks throughout the last eight years. Kick starting off his early competitive years with the AAA Parkland Rangers, he would eventually find himself auto-protected by the Swan Valley Stampeders. Langan would make the jump to Junior A in 2014-15 entering the MJHL as a 16-year-old.
The speedster would play out two full seasons with his hometown team, collecting 26 goals, adding 40 assists in 95 regular season and playoff games. The then 17-year-old made the jump to Major Junior halfway through his second year with the Stampeders, finding himself playing for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League. In three and a half seasons with the Warriors he amassed 190 points (79 goals, 111 assists) in 271 games.
The Swan River product found himself moving further from home in 2019-20 signing a contract with the San Jose Barracuda (AHL) where he dressed in nine games picking up an assist before being sent to the Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL) scoring 13 goals, adding 24 assists in 45 games. The 22-year-old is now in his second year with the Solar Bears dressing in 38 games and picking up 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists).
Riley McKay – Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
Another Swan River product has found light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. Riley McKay started his hockey career in the Swan River Valley before transistioning to a higher caliber of hockey in 2013-14 with the AAA Parkland Rangers. McKay was also auto-protected by the Stampeders and would make the jump to Junior A in 2015-16, joining parkland teammates Tristin Langan, Josh Tripp, Cody Ellingson, and Chandler Ashcroft. In just one season with the Stamps’ Mckay scored 12 goals, added 23 assists in 60 games. The then 17-year-old found himself heading south of the border for the next two seasons playing for the Spokane Chiefs (AHL) where he put up seven goals, 15 assists for 22 points in 120 games.
The 19-year-old found himself in a trade to the Saskatoon Blades in 2018-19. He spent two seasons closer to home tallying 67 points (32 goals, 35 assists) in 140 games. The 6’0” 203 lbs power forward continues his hockey career south of the border dressing in five games for the Indy Fuel of the (ECHL) and has since been called up to the Rockford IceHogs (AHL) dressing in nine games and adding one assist.
Travis Howe – Jacksonville Icemen (ECHL)
Look back nine years and you will find a very tough young man from Hull, MA, suiting up for the Stampeders. The then 18-year-old, Howe came to the Valley from Falmouth High (USHS-MA) where he played the season prior. During his one year stint with Swan Valley the 6’4” 198 lbs rugged forward would collect seven assists and 112 penalty minutes in 36 total games. After a brief, but yet memorable time in Swan River,
Howe continued his hockey career making stops with the Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL), Amherst Ramblers (MJAHL), Corpus Christ Ice Rays (NAHL), Berlin River Drivers (FHL), Mississippi River Kings (SPHL), Macon Mayhem (SPHL), Utah Grizzlies (ECHL), Greenville Swan Rabbits (ECHL), and was rostered with the Fort Wayne Komets (ECHL) where he has dressed in two games, before being traded to the Jacksonville Icemen on March 13.
Daniel Chartrand – Northland College (NCAA III)
Chartrand kicked off his Junior A playing days with his hometown club the Dauphin Kings (MJHL) in 2014-15 as a call up from the AAA Bantam Parkland Rangers. He made the Kings opening day roster in 2015-16 spending the next two seasons playing in a familiar rink where he collected 49 points (20 Goals, 29 assists) in 111 games.
The then 20-year-old would be traded to the OCN Blizzard (MJHL) to start the 2017-18 season and was later moved to the La Ronge Ice Wolves (SJHL) before being acquired by the Swan Valley Stampeders to finish of his Junior career close to home. Chartrand has now entered his Junior year at Northland College in Ashland, WI.
In his freshman year with the Lumberjacks he collected five points (two goals, three assists) in 20 games. He followed that up with six points (4 goals, 2 assists) in 24 games during his sophomore year. Chartrand has yet to draw into the lineup this season due to injury.
Taylor Derynck – Marian University (NCAA III)
Taylor Derynck arrived in the Valley in 2017-18 where he would finish out his 20-year-old season. The Stampeders acquired the 6’0” 185 lbs defenceman from the Kindersley Klippers (SJHL) where he played 15 games, scoring once and adding four assists.
Before that the Burnaby, BC native spent time with the OCN Blizzard (MJHL) and the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (BCHL) collecting seven goals, adding 23 assists in 158 Junior A games. 2020-21 hockey season went rather well for Derynck who entered into his junior year at the Marian University in Fond du Lac, WI playing for the Sabres. The now 23-year-old and his teammates captured the Division III – NCHA Harris Cup Championship on March 20.
Connor Navrot – Minot State University (ACHA)
Six years ago, the Swan Valley Stampeders acquired Connor Navrot from the Battlefords North Stars (SJHL), giving him a fresh start. Before Connor Navrot arrived in the Valley he spent time with the Battlefords North Stars and the Kindersley Klippers skating in 24 Junior A games collecting one goal and one assist.
In two and a half seasons with the Stampeders, the Martensville, SK native amassed 107 points (38 goals, 69 assists) in 143 games, helping his team make the playoffs, twice. Since graduating from Junior A hockey, Navrot has found himself playing for the Minot State Beavers in Minot, ND where he has dressed in 46 games collecting 12 goals and 17 assists.
Dane Hirst – Aurora University (NCAA III)
The Swan Valley Stampeders fifth round draft pick in 2014 first suited up for the Stamps’ in 2015-16 dressing in two games after completing his final year with the Eastman Selects U18 AAA. Hirst, from Lac du Bonnet was a strong defenceman with offensive upside. So much so, over the next three seasons, he dressed in 166 regular season and 21 playoff games collecting 10 goals, adding 67 assists.
The then 19-year-old was a massive part in the longest playoff run in team history, dressing in all 17 games manning the blue-line. He now finds himself south of the border playing for the Aurora University Spartans, a Div III school located in Aurora, IL. The 6’2” 190 lbs defenceman has dressed in 11 games collecting one assist.
Troy Quinn – University of Wisconsin – Superior (NCAA III)
Troy Quinn came to the Swan Valley Stampeders in 2018 via a trade with the Cornwall Colts (CCHL). The 6’4” 200 lbs defenceman was a key piece for the Stamps’ manning the blue-line in their longest playoff run in team history. Quinn dressed in 40 regular season games, scoring five goals and added 19 assists. During the playoff run, the then 19-year-old played in all 17 playoff games picking up two goals, adding seven assists.
The Nepean, ON native would then be moved to Merritt Centennials (BCHL) during the off-season. Merritt would move the 20-year-old to Flin Flon where he finished his Junior A hockey. Moving on with his hockey career, Quinn suited up for the University of Wisconsin-Superior Yellowjackets where he just recently won the NCAA III WIAC Mens Hockey Championship.
Josh Maucieri – University of St. Thomas (NCAA III)
Josh Maucieri joined the Swan Valley Stampeders for the 2018-19 season, coming to the team from Breezy Point North Stars (NA3HL) where he spent the previous two seasons scoring 30 goals, adding 29 assists in 68 games. While suiting up for the Stampeders, the Crosby, MN native put up career high point totals scoring 32 goals, added 71 assists in 132 games. The 6’2” 181 lbs power forward has entered into his freshman year with the University of St. Thomas (NCAA III) in St. Paul, MN playing five games and scoring two goals and adding two assists to date.
Trevor Schroder – Saint Mary’s University (NCAA III)
Trever Schroder spent one full season with the Blue, White, Black and Copper, making the opening day roster out of training camp in 2019-20. The big man spent the previous two seasons with the Kanai River Brown Bears (NAHL) in 2018-19 and the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) in 2017-18 collecting three goals, adding eight assists in 54 games. The 6’3” 216 lbs Des Moines, IA product made the most of his time with the Stamps’ collecting career high numbers. The 20-year-old tallied 53 points (21 goals, 32 assists) in 61 games. Since graduating out of the Junior ranks, Schroder finds himself suiting up for Saint Mary’s University in Winona, MN where he scored two goals and added four assists in 11 games played.
Daunte Fortner – Philadelphia Hockey Club (NCDC)
Daunte Fortner was a well-travelled young man before making an eventual stop with the Swan Valley Stampeders in 2019-20. Before lacing them up with the Stamps’ Fortner was bounced around the NAHL making stops with the Odessa Jackalopes, Jamestown Rebels and the Lone Star Brahmas, dressing in 11 games and only scoring once.
The 19-year-old from Kingsford, MI found his scoring ways finding the back of the net seven times, adding 19 helpers in 38 games. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Fortner couldn’t cross the border to play for the Stampeders, and had to find a new team to suit up for. In 35 games with the Philadelphia Hockey Club he has collected five goals and added 21 assists.
Kasyn Kruse – Saint Mary’s University (NCAA III)
Kasyn Kruse joined the Stampeders in 2018-19 and was a part of a magnificent run to the MJHL finals against the Portage Terriers. Unfortunately the team didn’t get to hoist the Turnbull cup but it was a career year for the Luverne, MN product.
Over the course of 70 regular and playoff games combined, the 5”10” 185 lbs shifty forward scored 15 goals, adding 21 assists. Kruse finished off his Junior career being bounced around Jamestown Rebels (NAHL), Stampeders (MJHL), and the Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) until COVID-19 shut down the league in March of 2020. Kruse has now entered his freshman year with Saint Mary’s University in Winona, WI.
Mattias Dal Monte – Amarillo Bulls (NAHL)
Mattias Dal Monte arrived with the Swan Valley Stampeders to start off the 2019-20 season and was an instant fan favourite. Before making his way to the MJHL, the 2000 born defenceman spent the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons with the Merritt Centennials (BCHL) collecting five goals and six assists in 79 games.
The Stampeders acquired the 19-year-old from Merritt and in 39 games was leading the team in scoring with 12 goals and 30 assists before he was traded to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (BCHL) where he put up four assists in 15 games. Since then he has made his way Amarillo, TX to suit up for the Bulls (NAHL). In 23 games south of the border the 20-year-old has two goals and four assists.
Luke Beerman – Lone Star Brahmas (NAHL)
Luke Beerman joined the Stampeders as a 17-year-old for the 2019-20 season after playing in the United States with the Shattuck Saint Mary’s U18 Prep and AAA programs. The Marquette, MI native dressed in a combined 125 games collecting 31 goals and adding 33 assists south of the border.
While wearing a Stampeder uniform, he came is second in rookie scoring with 18 regular season goals and added 39 assists. Before the season was called he also added two goals and an assist in their opening round playoff series against the Wayway Wolverines. The now 19-year-old is playing south of the border with the Lone Star Brahmas (NAHL) due to the COVID-19 restrictions. In seven games played he has yet to tally a point.
Tanner Glasrud – Pueblo Bulls (USPHL Premier)
Tanner Glasrud came to the Swan Valley Stampeders in 2018-19 and was also a massive part of the team’s success in their longest playoff run in team history. In his rookie season the 6”7” giant would pick up eight assists in 48 regular season games.
The ultimate shutdown defenceman would help his team in the playoffs collecting one goal in 15 games. He returned for the 2019-20 season playing 38 games collecting one goal, adding eight assists in regular season and playoff play before COVID-19 shut down the league.
Due to those restrictions he finds himself in Pueblo, CO playing out his final year of Junior A eligibility. In 12 games he has collected one assist.
Lane Kirk – Pueblo Bulls (USPHL)
Stampeder Captain Lane Kirk didn’t want to finish his Junior A career anywhere but at home, but due to COVID-19 he finds himself south of the border, alongside a familiar face in Tanner Glasrud. The two reunited in Pueblo and are roaming the blueline in the Mile High state.
Kirk made the transition to Junior A in 2016-17 from the Parkland AAA program where he played in front of his hometown crowd for the next four seasons. The Swan River product would have short stints with the Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) before he returned back to the Valley. In 204 regular season and playoff games combined with the Stampders Kirk tallied five goals, adding 64 assists and was an instrumental piece in their epic playoff run in their 20th season.
Listed below are former Stampeder players who are listed with their respective teams but have not played a game due to COVID-19.
Evan Last – Trinity Western University
Merek Pipes – Union College (NCAA Div I)
Campbell Balk – Endicott College (NCAA III)
Tucker Scantlebury – Red Deer College (ACAC)
Noah Basarab – University of Manitoba (USports)
Frazer Dodd – Bryn Athyn College (NCAA III)
John Jebamani – Bryn Athyn College (NCAA III)
Ryley Lanthier – Ontario Tech Ridgebacks
Josh Tripp – University of Manitoba (USports)
Keaton Jameson – University of Manitoba (USports)