The Manitoba Moose have sent defenceman Leon Gawanke to the DEL’s Eisbaren Polar Bears. The German product will suit up in his native land for the beginning of the 2020-21 DEL season, before making a decision on whether or not he will return to Manitoba for start of the 2020-21 American Hockey League calendar.
The 21-year-old former Cape Breton Screaming Eagle joined the Moose for the 2019-20 season, where he helped lead the offence on the blueline with four goals, 26 points and 21 penalty minutes in just 48 games played. He served as a solid shutdown defender in his first year of professional action.
Prior to playing with Manitoba in the AHL, Gawanke spent three seasons with Cape Breton in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he put up 29 goals, 121 points and 91 penalty minutes in 178 contests. In 27 postseason games, he scored four times, added nine assists and 13 penalty minutes.
Career accomplishments include the 2018-19 QMJHL award for most goals by a defenceman with 17, silver medals in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 U18 and U20 Tier II World Junior Championship, as well as a bronze medal in 2017-18 and a gold medal in 2018-19. He was drafted 136th overall by the Jets in the fifth round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.