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Former AAA Warriors standout McGrath wins trio of SJHL awards

Humboldt Broncos forward named RBC Top Forward, DirectWest Rookie of the Year, SJHL Top Scorer
Connor McGrath SJHL
Former AAA Warriors and Prairie Hockey Academy standout Connor McGrath picked up a trio of SJHL league awards on Wednesday.

Anyone following the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League this past winter would be hard-pressed to avoid the exploits of Humboldt Broncos forward Connor McGrath.

Now the former Moose Jaw AAA Warriors and Prairie Hockey Academy standout has the awards to show for it after claiming the RBC Top Forward, DirectWest Rookie of the Year and SJHL Top Scorer when the league honours were announced Wednesday.

McGrath, 18, put together a stellar campaign right from the first puck drop and ended up leading the SJHL in scoring with 35 goals and 84 points in 56 games. Making things all the more impressive is that this is his first full season in the SJHL, having played four games with the Weyburn Red Wings in the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 campaign.

McGrath -- who hails from LeRoy, just outside of Humboldt -- was traded to the Broncos in the off-season and wasted little time getting things going in the new season. He put up seven points over his first two games and had five goals and 17 points by the time the campaign was eight games old.

Things didn’t slow down much as the season progressed, and McGrath would have the two longest point-scoring streaks of the campaign, with 12 games from late October to mid-January, and shortly after that was snapped, 14 games from late November to mid-January.

McGrath’s work on the power play was a huge part of his production, as he racked up 11 goals and 33 points with the man advantage.

After playing his minor hockey in Humboldt, McGrath signed on for the Prairie Hockey Academy’s first season in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League and finished fifth in team scoring with seven goals and 35 points in 32 games.

He suited up for the AAA Warriors the following year and had an outstanding campaign, scoring 23 goals and 49 points in the regular season before adding four goals and eight points in six playoff games as Moose Jaw reached the league final before things were shut down due to the pandemic.

McGrath has committed to NCAA Division I Ferris State University and is the 128th-ranked North American skater for the 2022 National Hockey League Entry Draft this summer.

One of McGrath’s teammates, goaltender Rayce Ramsey, was also a triple award winner, claiming the RBC Player of the Year, SGEU Most Valuable Player and SaskTel Top Goaltender honours.

Flin Flon’s Xavier Lapointe was named the Mayfair Diagnostics Top Defenceman, Battlefords’ Ryland McNinch the SGEU Most Sportsmanlike Player and the Battlefords’ Brayden Klimosko the SJHL Coach of the Year.

Humboldt’s season recently came to an end with a four-games-to-one loss to Flin Flin in the SJHL semifinal.