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Morris’ Justin Keck Ready for Future in SJHL with Humboldt Broncos

Photo by Jamie Moroz

Morris’ Justin Keck Ready for Future in SJHL with Humboldt Broncos

Justin Keck is ready for a new challenge. The Morris product officially committed to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Humboldt Broncos this past summer, after originally signing his letter of intent in the spring. Following two successful years of high school hockey and one season dominating the provincial U-18 AAA league, the 18-year-old is licking his chops for a taste of some high-level hockey out west.

“It’s time for me to move on from my career in Manitoba and start fresh in Saskatchewan,” Keck told Game On. “It has been a dream of mine to play hockey at the Junior ‘A’ level, and this is a chance that I could never pass up; I now have an opportunity to make an impact at that level. The SJHL is a fast and mature league, so I am beyond excited for what my future with the SJHL and the Humboldt Broncos organization will bring going forward.”

After signing with Humboldt in June, the Pembina Valley Hawks alum said he was “almost immediately” given workouts and offseason training regimens from the Broncos coaching/training staff, to help him prepare for the upcoming season – something he said went a long way as rookie coming into a new situation.

“The first time Humboldt contacted me was about halfway through the past season,” Keck reflected. “They were very professional in the way that they contacted me on a consistent basis, keeping me up to date with what the fall would look like. I actually knew right away that Humboldt was on the top of my list for where I wanted to play next season. The coaching staff, the players, and the town have been incredible to me in my short time as a Bronco. I can’t wait to see what’s to come of my future in Humboldt.”

Despite moving to Saskatchewan to join a storied SJHL franchise, Keck actually did not have any contacts within the club or friends in the Broncos program. Having not been selected in his WHL Draft year, the speedy forward was, however, chosen by the Swan Valley Stampeders in 2017. But according to Keck, the decision to sign with Humboldt came rather easily.

“I actually didn’t know anyone in the Broncos organization when I was originally contacted,” the 5-foot-10, 175-pound forward said. “But they have been very good to me in the time I have been with the team. I’m not entirely sure what to expect moving away from home for the first time, getting settled into a new home and joining a new team, but they have made me feel very comfortable and made the transition very easy.”

Considering the accolades behind his name, making the team shouldn’t be much of an issue for the former Zone IV high school hockey league MVP. Keck, who put up an astounding 65 goals and 108 points in just 58 regular season games over parts of three high school seasons with the Mavericks (2016-19), moved on to the U-18 Hawks for the 2019-20 season, where he posted 34 goals and 64 points in 48 games.

“I grew dramatically as a person playing high school hockey, being a leader during the time I was with the Mavericks,” Keck said. “The coaching was irreplaceable and that made it that much better. My time with Pembina Valley was certainly a year to remember too. Coming fresh off a high school and provincial championship, I rode into the year with a lot of confidence. It was a lot of fun playing with an amazing group of teammates and some amazing coaches. I definitely grew as a player and as a person, which has proven very valuable going forward.”
Keck is currently in the middle of the Broncos’ 2o2o-21 training camp, where he has cracked the 28-man roster as one of just nine players born in 2002 or later. Prior to opening night puck drop on the upcoming season, all SJHL teams need to have their rosters down to 25 players. At the moment, the league is awaiting approval on its proposed October 9 start date from its governing health authority.

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at carterbrooks1994@gmail.com.

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