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AAA Warriors welcome back trio of veterans, add four highly touted prospects

Moose Jaw product Callaghan joined by Otterson and Perkins as returnees for Sask U18 AAA League squad
AAA ND PO3 Callaghan check
Evan Callaghan attempts to knock the puck away from a Notre Dame attacker during action from the playoffs this past season.
The Moose Jaw U18 AAA Warriors are wasting little time when it comes to signing returning veterans and bringing new players into the fold for the 2020-2021 season.

The club recently announced three players from last season’s Sask U18 AAA Hockey League finalists will be back in the red, black and white for the coming campaign, while also adding four highly touted prospects.

Topping the list of returnees is Moose Jaw Minor Hockey product Evan Callaghan. The 5-foot-10, 154-pound forward scored eight goals and 13 points in 44 games in league play last season, but his most important goal of the campaign came far from Mosaic Place – the overtime winner against the Saskatoon Blazers in the semifinal of the Mac’s Midget AAA tournament in Calgary.

The Warriors also re-signed the player who picked up the first assist on that goal in Balgonie-born Matthew Perkins. The 5-foot-8, 130-pound forward was signed after appearing as an affiliate player in October and ended up putting together a decent second half of his season with four goals and 10 points in 17 games.

Also returning to the club will be hard-hitting forward Chris Otterson. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Gravelbourg product scored seven goals and 18 points in 39 games while emerging as one of the team’s heart-and-soul players.

Leading the group of newcomers is high-scoring forward Riley Niven, who suited up for Winnipeg’s Rink Academy in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League Midget Prep division last season. And what a season it was, as the 5-foot-11, 150-pound Wawota product would score 23 goals and 54 points in 36 games to finish third in team scoring and 17th overall in the league.

One of the more experienced players in the line-up next season will be forward Hayden Wilm, who joins the Warriors after spending the last two seasons with the SU18AAAHL’s Saskatoon Blazers. The 5-foot-10, 174-pound Central Butte product scored nine times and had 27 points in 2019-20 after putting up four goals and 15 points in his rookie campaign.

The Warriors also added a veteran defenceman from the SU18AAAHL’s Yorkton Maulers in Orin Olson. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound second-year product out of Chaplin scored once and had three points in 34 games as part of an injury-shortened campaign.

Joining the Tribe from the Regina Vics Midget AA program is forward Blake Betson. Described by one of his coaches as a player who would “smash through a wall for his team and come back through the other side again” and an “amazing teammate and character player”, Betson scored 15 goals and 35 points in 35 games last season. He also suited up for four games with the Regina Pat Canadians of the U18 AAA league and was held without a point.


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