The Minot State Beavers continue to outsource talent from the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Just a few days after the 2019-20 COVID-19 shortened season came to a close, the team announced the early offseason signing of Tuelon’s Brayden Pawluk (Dauphin Kings). A couple weeks later, Waywayseecappo’s outgoing captain Nick Doyle made his decision to sign with the Beavers. Then this past week, the Portage Terriers saw point producing forward Carter Barley agreed to terms with Minot.
This past American Collegiate Hockey Association season for the Beavers Division I team saw the rostered use of 12 former MJHL players, including Justin Metcalf (Neepawa), Adam Wowryk (Winnipeg), Landyn Cochrane (Virden), Josh Bykowski (Portage), Wayde Johannesson (Selkirk), Rhett Lough (Winnipeg), Johl Swedlo (Waywayseecappo), Braden Billaney (Portage), Connor Navrot (Swan Valley), Kirklan Lycar (Virden), Morgan Poirier (Portage) and Riley Vautour (Steinbach).
Barley, 20, is the most recent MJHL commitment for the Beavers, as the 6-foot-1, 175-pound forward put pen to paper on an agreement following four seasons of junior with the Selkirk Steelers and Portage Terriers. The St. Andrews product upped his points-per-game rate in each of his four seasons, totalling 28, 44, 47 and 58 points respectively, finishing with 62 goals, 190 points and 200 penalty minutes in 247 total MJHL contests.
“We are ecstatic to add Carter to our lineup for next season,” Beavers head coach Wade Regier said in a team-issued press release. “He has proven to be one of the elite forwards in the MJHL for the greater part of three seasons. After the graduation of our leading scorer Johl Swedlo, it was important for us to find someone with this type of offensive pedigree. We got this, in adding Barley. If he uses his size and his hockey IQ to the best of his ability, he has a chance to be an elite player in the ACHA. As a former Captain, another big plus is his leadership. We expect him to be a future leader in our locker room as well.”
Now, as opposed to battling against both Brayden Pawluk and Nick Doyle, Barley will be suiting up on the frontlines, alongside the two defencemen as Minot’s first offensive acquisition of the offseason. The Beavers had earlier signed goaltenders Riley Wallace and Zach Johnson of the KIJHL and CCHL, respectively.
The defending national champion Minot State went 30-5-2 on the year prior to having its season cut short due to the pandemic, Minot’s win percentage was sixth-best in the country, while its record and goals-for was tops in its division. Pawluk, Doyle and Barley will look to add to those growing numbers for the 2020-21 ACHA season.