The Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Selkirk Steelers have had a busy past three weeks. After the early September signings of 2003-born forwards Adam Ingram (West St. Paul) and Tyson Smith of Winnipeg, the team began its training camp and has a preseason contest scheduled for Friday, September 25.
This past week, however, saw the signings of four players, including three Winnipeg Thrashers, as well as one AAA player from the Des Moines Buccaneers. In total, two forwards, one defenceman and one goaltender were signed to standard MJHL deals, with three of the four players carrying 2003 birthdays, while one player joining the Steelers was born in 2002.
On offence, Selkirk inked 17-year-old forwards Jordan Hughesman (Winnipeg) and Hunter Friesen (Winnipeg) to agreements, while contracts were also handed out to fellow 17-year-old defenceman Carson Hinkel-Lysak (Winnipeg) and 17-year-old goaltender Cole Plowman of Selkirk.
Hughesman skated alongside Hinkel-Lysak and Plowman with the U-18 AAA Winnipeg Thrashers last season, where he scored seven times and added 14 assists for 21 total points and 54 penalty minutes in 46 regular season games. The right-handed shooting forward also found the twine once in four postseason contests for the Thrashers in 2019-20.
Friesen spent the past two seasons away from home, skating within the North American Prospects Hockey League with Shattuck St. Mary’s in 2018-19 and most recently with Des Moines last year. In 30 combined NAPHL contests, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound forward has three goals, eight points and 10 penalty minutes, while also putting up eight goals, 26 points and four penalty minutes in 108 USA U-18 AAA league games.
Hinkel-Lysak joined the Thrashers last season, following three years of AAA Winnipeg Sharks play. His four goals and 22 points were third amongst his teammates in defensive scoring, while his 89 penalty minutes placed him atop the charts on the Thrashers and 17th in the league.
Plowman split duties with Presely Lester in the Thrashers’ cage last season, putting up a .919 save percentage and a 2.48 goals against average in 29 games played, going 18-10-0 with two shutouts. It was the second year of U-18 play for the six-foot, 180-pound backstop, who actually posted slightly better numbers in 2018-19 for the Thrashers, with a 2.38 goals against average and a .925 save percentage in just 23 games.
The Steelers are set to host the Winkler Flyers in a preseason contest on Friday, September 25 at 7:30 PM from the Selkirk Rec Centre. Tickets for preseason games are $5, and can be purchased at the Keystone Source for Sports. Only 300 fans will be allowed in the facility to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Fans are to wear masks, remain in their seats of the duration of the game and not exit/re-enter the facilities.