This past week, Brandon’s Jalyn Elmes agreed to terms on a contract with Brynäs IF of Sweden’s top female Svenska liga for the 2020-21 season. The 22-year-old spent the past four years suiting up for the University of Minnesota-Duluth following the conclusion of her minor hockey career with the AAA Yellowhead Chiefs in 2016
“I just finished four amazing years at UMD with the Bulldogs,” Elmes told Game On. “I was very unsure about what my road after college would look like. But once the end of our season came closer and closer I definitely knew that hanging up the skates wasn’t the right decision for me to make. I started chatting with my coaches and some old teammates at the time and made the decision that playing overseas is something that I would really like to do.”
With UMD, the 5-foot-9, defender worked her way into the Bulldogs’ leadership team, finishing her NCAA career while serving as team captain from fall of 2018 to spring of 2020. In 2019-20, UMD went 18-12-6, while Elmes put up two goals, nine points, 47 penalty minutes and a +14 rating on the back-end. She claims that much of her growth and progression came from those closest to her within the Bulldogs organization.
“Every year at UMD was packed with development, and I owe a lot to my coaches and trainers there,” she reflected. “Specifically our defence coach Laura Bellamy for trusting me on the blue line over the past four years and allowing me to take on different and challenging roles. A big thanks to my coach Maura Crowell for always opening up opportunities for her players – me being one of them. She played a big part in helping me decide what I wanted to do beyond college.”
That decision, says Elmes, came quickly after some thorough conversation with friends, teammates and coaching staff.
“Through connections I was introduced to the Brynäs IF staff and it felt very right,” Elmes said. “They were looking for a spot to fill on their roster and I seemed to meet the criteria and was thrilled about that. I was eager to sign with them, as it is an awesome organization with tons of skilled players and a great history behind it.”
Not only will the former Canadian National Women’s U18 team member be able to fill the void, performance-wise, in signing on with Brynäs, but she will also be able to do so amongst some familiar faces.
“I am looking forward to playing with two of my old UMD teammates again in Katka Mrazova (2016-17, 2017-18) and Lara Stalder (2016-17),” Elmes said. “I was able to learn a lot from both of them when we all played together; Both Katka and Lara are very creative on the ice. I’m looking forward to the whole experience over there. I get to see a new part of the world, be a part of a new team and work with new people that I can learn from; I can’t wait.”
At UMD, the defender put together 13 goals, 56 points and 147 total penalty minutes in 137 combined regular season games over four full years of action. Now having graduated with a degree in psychology, Elmes will look to fit in on the back-end with a Brynäs team that went 25-8-3 in 2019-20, finishing third out of 10 league teams, before bowing out of the postseason with a semifinal loss. Typically, the SDHL season begins in mid-September.