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100 Mile House Wranglers recruiting for 2024/2025 season

The Wranglers have signed two players from Saskatchewan

Recruitment efforts are going well for the 100 Mile House Wranglers 2024/2025 team.

Levi Stuart, the Wrangler’s new head coach and general manager, has spent the past several months attending camps and scouting players across Western Canada. Stuart said that while the process has been “crazy busy” he’s been enjoying it.

“I’ve been watching a lot of different camps and scouting as much as possible. It’s been a lot of watching video on the computer and a ton of phone calls,” Stuart remarked. “It seems I’m on the phone 30 times a day reaching out to different coaches, players and their families. For my first season with me here in 100 Mile, it’s been exciting.”

Stuart has already signed a couple of players from Saskatchewan who he has relationships with from his time coaching with the Nipawin Hawks. Despite 100 Mile House being a long way from home for them he remarked they’ve committed to coming and lending their skills.

The first player Stuart has signed is Alex Crowe-Nippi a lefthanded forward who led his last team in scoring. In 20 games he scored 17 goals and provided 20 assists which Stuart said would be an asset for the Wranglers.

“He’s extremely excited to make the long trip out (to 100 Mile House) away from home. I expect him to step in to be a force for us right away,” Stuart said. “He’s a kid that comes with a lot of skill, high hockey IQ and a good work ethic. He’s going to fit in really well.”

On the defensive side of things, Stuart has brought on a new goalie in the form of Jaidyn Snow, who recently played for the Regina Pat Triple-A Team. During Stuart’s time with the Hawks Snow played a few games for him so he got to know him pretty well.

“He is still going to be trying to make the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League but he’s committed to coming to us if that doesn’t work out,” Stuart said. “He’s one of the hardest working guys on the ice and that’s how he earned his opportunities with the SIJHL. He’s a smaller goalie but he makes up for it with his speed and work ethic.”

On Sunday, June 9, after his interview with the Free Press, Stuart signed forward Jaden Rusznak, the top scorer for Okotoks U18 Triple-A Team. In a post announcing it Stuart noted that he expects Rusnak to have an immediate impact and play a significant role on the team going forward.

Throughout the summer Stuart said he expects his recruitment efforts to ramp up even more as players train for the coming season in September. He’ll be doing his best to convince as many of these players as he can to come to 100 Mile House.

“The thing for us is that the players we’re going after and recruiting are guys still trying to make the next level. They have camp invites and offers from teams in Alberta, Saskatchewan or even Ontario and they’re looking to make those teams,” Stuart explained. “If it doesn’t work out at that higher level they’re hopefully going to come to us. They know our goal is to help them move on and become the best hockey players they can be and play the highest level of hockey they can play.”

Stuart said that in addition to new players, he’s also reaching out to veteran Wranglers from last season. These include key players from last year’s lineup including goalie Ivan Tolsma, defencemen Ty Smoluk, Ethan Hofstrand and Trent Thiessen and forwards Nash Hillworth, Alberto Kellegren and Carter Boomer. Having gotten the chance to see them play in person at training in Prince George, Stuart expects big things from them.

He noted that those players are excited for a fresh start and to see how things are done differently this year. Stuart also stressed that being on the team doesn’t guarantee a spot this year.

“With how many new guys we’re bringing in it’s going to be a battle to see who makes it and it’s going to be really interesting to see who comes out and wants it more,” Stuart remarked. “I think that competition breeds success.”

Both the returning players and those Stuart recruits will be invited to attend the Wranglers tryout camp from Sept. 6 to 8. While open to the public, Stuart said the camp is invite-only for players and he will be looking to find out who “really wants to be a Wrangler” this season.

“September can’t come fast enough. We can’t wait to get it going,” Stuart remarked. “It will be a small camp, probably only two teams.”

Stuart said that he will be looking for speed both physically in his players’ skating and also in their thinking. As the game continues to become faster players will have to make decisions in shorter periods of time.

“You have to be quick with your decisions and make plays fast, not hold onto the puck for a long time. Those are definitely the guys we’re looking at and trying to recruit.”

Patrick Davies

About the Author: Patrick Davies

An avid lover of theatre, media, and the arts in all its forms, I've enjoyed building my professional reputation in 100 Mile House.
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