The Neepawa Natives and Briley Wood have agreed to terms on a standard Manitoba Junior Hockey League contract. The 17-year-old, right-handed shooting forward will look to crack the Natives’ squad for the coming 2020-21 season following four years of AAA play within the Yellowhead Chiefs organization.
“I am very excited to get things going in Neepawa,” Wood said following the Natives’ announcement. “I know they have a great staff all around and I’m looking forward to meeting all the new guys there!”
Drafted 14th overall in the second round of the 2018 MJHL Draft, the Rivers, MB. product suited up in both the bantam and midget AAA leagues over the past number of season. In his first year of bantam, he put up five goals and 18 points in 34 games, before spending the next three seasons operating at over a point-per-game rate.
In 2017-18 he scored 27 times, while adding 22 assists for 49 points in 36 games, before collecting a combined 43 goals, 114 points and 105 penalty minutes in 90 regular season games in his two seasons of midget play. Wood also has a goal, seven points and 27 penalty minutes in nine postseason games. He also had the experience of suiting up for the Western Hockey League’s Lethbridge Hurricanes for six games last season, finishing a +3, with one penalty.
Neepawa had another disappointing campaign in 2019-20, that saw the team finish with a 13-43-4 record, while putting up a league-worst 30 points. Failing to make the playoffs in all but one of the past 10 seasons, front office and hockey operations staff changes were made, as veteran coach Ken Pearson was added to the mix as the team’s new head coach and general manager for the 2019-20 season.