When it comes to local talent, the Swan Valley Stampeders can boast two decades worth of success stories.
From early fan favourites like Dallas Anderson, Patrick Leask and Jayson Argue to more recent hometown heros like Tristin Langan, Josh Tripp and Riley McKay, the organization has seen roughly 45 local products pull the jersey over their head in game action.
Last week, Head Coach and General Manager Barry Wolff welcomed the newest product, when forward Trey Sauder signed a letter of intent to lace his skates up at home this fall.
Sauder has had a stand-out minor hockey career and hopes this is just the first step in playing for the team he’s grown up watching.
“I’m very excited to be furthering my hockey career with such a great organization,” said Sauder. “It has been a goal of mine to play in the MJHL, and to be able to represent my home town team makes it even more special.”
For Wolff, the opportunity to add such a skilled forward such as Sauder to his line-up was a no-brainer.
“We’ve watched Trey grow in the last few years as both a player and a person,” said Wolff. “We’re excited to be able to add a quality player and person of his caliber.”
While the current season has been on pause since early November, thanks to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Sauder’s list of fans are quite excited for his success.
That includes his current coaches with the Parkland Rangers U18 program.
“Trey has a combination of a goal scorer’s touch with a wizard’s passing touch,” said Rangers Co-Coach Tyler Carefoot. “He’s an offensive threat with elite hockey IQ. His goal was to come in and help the Rangers win games with the ultimate goal of earning a spot with his hometown junior team.”
He’s now done just that. Sauder scored seven goals, while adding four assists in seven games played this year with the Rangers. The 5’11” Sauder spent the previous two seasons with the SVRSS Tigers high school hockey team, where he led the Westman High School Hockey League in scoring both seasons.
Wanting to give himself the best opportunity to play junior hockey, Sauder knew playing against better over-all competition was necessary, which led him to Dauphin last fall.
Stampeders Director of Scouting Mitchell Kirkup says Sauder has shown tremendous growth over the past couple seasons, and is excited to see how he transitions to junior hockey.
“He’s dedicated to improving his game and playing the game the right way,” added Kirkup. “He possesses strong offensive instincts and has the ability to capitalize on his scoring chances. Trey has a real passion for the game – he makes plays, and his hockey IQ is very high. We’re always excited to add a local, proven, point producer to the organization.”
While the Stampeders are holding onto the ever shrinking chance that the 2020-21 season will resume, that hasn’t stopped Wolff from looking ahead to next year’s team.
Adding a local product who can play is always an added bonus.
The Stampeders currently have four local players on their active roster – forward Carter Cockburn, along with a trio of defencemen in Jackson Betcher, Lane Kirk and Jayden Mosiondz.
Story written by Brian Gilroy, Star and Times