Rookies make a big difference for Kings

With their 41 wins, the Dauphin Kings had their winningest regular season since the 2012-13 campaign when they won 47 games.

The turnaround for the organization is one thing that certainly should be highlighted as if you date back just a few years to the 2017-18 season, Dauphin won just 14 games and finished near the bottom of the standings.

This year, the team has finished second place in the league and they’re Western Division champions. Dauphin will open their playoffs next weekend against the Swan Valley Stampeders, a team they went 7-1 against in the regular season.

Over the next week leading up to the start of the playoffs, we’ll feature players that have been a big reason for the team’s success this year and well, the list includes every single player on the team. From top to bottom, each and every player made a difference at some point this season.

Brayden Dube:

He was a nominee for the league`s rookie of the year award and despite coming up short, you can`t take away from the season the rookie from Roblin has put up.

One of the youngest players in the league at just16-years-old, Brayden scored 24 times this season which was the second-most in the league, only behind Carson Buydens who was named the league`s rookie of the year. Brayden also added 22 assists for 46 points.

“I’m very pleased with my performance this year,” said Dube. “I couldn’t have done it without my amazing teammates, they have helped me every step along the way.”

Brayden was also named to the rookie all-star team which comes as no surprise.

“That’s a pretty big honour,” said Dube. “To be a part of a small group of all-stars means a lot to me and I’m very thankful.”

Dube is only a few seasons removed from racking up 130 points with the U15 Parkland Rangers in the 2019-20 campaign. For the fans keeping track at home, those 130 points are the second-most in U15 AAA history only behind Jonathon Toews.

When it comes to this year, Dube will get his first taste of MJHL playoff hockey next weekend and he can’t wait to hit the ice with his hockey brothers.

“We have a great group this year and everyone has one common goal,” offered Dube. “We know nothing comes easy in the playoffs and we’re looking forward to getting down to the grind.”

Rookie story:

Just behind Dube was Luke Morris when it came to offensive production from rookies. His 40 points from 23 goals were the second-most on the team and Luke also came up extra clutch on multiple occasions.

He potted three game-winning goals including the game-winner against the Neepawa Titans on the second night of the season.

A great young man on and off the ice, Morris’ work ethic is contagious and the future is extremely bright.

Credit Union Place has been his home arena for years while playing with the Parkland Rangers program and now, Jayden Jubenvill is turning out to be an elite junior hockey player. From Gilbert Plains, Jubenvill has chalked up 33 points this year and is one of the team’s top lockdown defenders. Pair his skill with his elite skating skills, there’s no ceiling for Jayden

They call him the ‘Dangler King’ and he just celebrated a birthday. Jeriah Shantz scored his first career MJHL regular-season goal against the Virden Oil Capitals at Tundra Oil & Gas Place. He broke onto the scene with a great performance at the team’s JoFo Cup. He’s added four other goals and chalked up 16 points this year.

A physical force on the ice, Tanner Brouwer has been inserted into the lineup 43 times this season and Kings fans that watch every game have certainly seen Brouwer blossom into a more confident player on the ice. From Pine City, Brouwer is enjoying his time in Dauphin and his 13 points add up to a pretty solid rookie season.

Is he a forward or a defenceman? Well, Nolan Wickham can do it all. From Waskada, Wickham has been asked to play up front this season and he’s also played on the back end. A tireless worker, Wickham will do whatever is asked of him and he had an assist in Thursday’s season finale against the Freeze. 10 points is what he finished his first MJHL regular season with.

His biggest goal as a King was without a doubt against the OCN Blizzard when he scored a game-winner at the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre.

Tyson Pauze has suited up in 35 games this season and he’s scored twice while adding four assists. A game-winning goal is a big deal and it’s one that Tyson still remembers and is talking about.

“Absolutely, that was a special moment that I won’t forget,” said Pauze.

Ethan Williment scored on Thursday and has two goals this season. He’s also graduated high school so it’s safe to say that it’s been an exciting year for the young man from Winnipeg.  Known as a player with great speed and solid hands, Williment has a very bright future and he’s always a guy with a smile on his face and is ready to do what it takes to make a difference. You can also see him driving around town in his sweet red Mustang.

The final rookie to highlight today is one that has put together a solid rookie campaign and he goes by the name of Keaton Woolsey. Woolsey finished the season at 11-5-1 to go along with a .905 save percentage and a 2.61 goals-against average. He also has two shutouts to his name. Shutouts rarely happen especially with rookies in the crease so his two just goes to show how good Keaton can be when he’s dialled in.