The Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Winnipeg Blues have announced the commitments of fellow Interlake Lightning AAA teammates Aiden Bruce and Cam Jones. Both players were selected midway through the 2018 MJHL Bantam Draft, with Bruce taken at No. 50 by Winnipeg, while Jones went 62nd overall to the Waywayseecappo Wolverines.
Both Winnipeggers played the 2019-20 season in the Manitoba Midget AAA Hockey League for the dismal Interlake Lightning, which went just 14-32-2, missing the postseason for the fifth-consecutive year. Although improving from its 10-34-4 record from the season before, Interlake did not produce at a level anywhere near its competition.
Bruce, 16, put up seven goals, 17 points and 81 penalty minutes in 42 games on defence for Interlake. Prior to joining the Lightning, the 5-foot-9, 175-pound puck-mover had spent the majority of his minor hockey career with the Winnipeg Hawks, playing both AAA bantam and city midget.
Jones, 17, produced three goals, 12 points and 32 penalty minutes in 46 games on forward with Interlake, following a productive three-season AAA career with the Winnipeg Sharks. Through 94 combined games with the Sharks, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound playmaker had 37 goals, 94 points and 58 penalty minutes.
Winnipeg just snuck into the 2020 postseason, earning a berth in the final week of play. Despite a valiant effort, captain Braydon Foreman and Co. failed to pick up a win, dropping four-straight to the Steinbach Pistons, managing just three goals-for. The club’s -39 goal differential was the worst amongst playoff teams, while serving as the only club to enter the postseason in the negatives. Bruce and Jones will look to help fix that statistic in 2020-21.