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The Dauphin Kings have started to turn their focus towards the 2024-25 Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) season.

The team, who fell in seven games to the Blizzard in last year's playoffs, are now just a few months away from opening up training camp, and come late September, the puck will drop officially on a new regular season.

As that countdown continues, the organization has been busy adding pieces to their roster and the newest King is Dylan Duzan. An 18-year-old from Moose Jaw, Dylan played with his hometown U18 Warriors this past season and served as the team's captain.

"It felt like an awesome decision for myself and my family to commit to Dauphin," said Duzan. "Everything aligned perfectly. The team has a vision that I want to be a part of and I can't wait to become a Dauphin King."

Mike Russell is Dauphin's Saskatchewan scout and is very excited about Dylan joining the club.

"He is a very strong, smart, and skilled hockey player," said Russell. "What you see is what you get, he always has a big smile on his face. He leads by example on the ice. The Dauphin Kings are thrilled that we are getting a full 200 foot hockey player."

Playing with the Warriors this past season, the 5'10" forward produced 22 goals in 38 games while adding 22 assists for 44 points as he averaged more than a point per game. Duzan also posted two assists in four playoff games. This past season also saw the new King record a career-high in points. Last year, he had 14 goals and 37 points. He then posted seven points in last year's playoffs and carried that momentum into this past season. 

A smooth skater with a high IQ, Duzan knows he has a lot more in the tank.

"I was happy with it. With that said, I believe I could have added more," offered Duzan. "We had a great group of guys, so it was a fun year."

Dylan's off-season training has begun and he knows he needs to make it a big summer to prepare for his rookie junior season.

"I'll be spending a ton of time in the gym and getting on the ice whenever I can," said Duzan. "I think the transition will be fine as long as I stick to my game and trust my teammates."

When it comes to the transition from U18 AAA hockey to the Junior A ranks, it's not easy for everyone. Many players struggle with the transition, especially early on. While Duzan will have to adapt to playing with bigger, stronger, and better players, Mike believes Dylan is the type of player who adapts to whatever situation he is put into.

"I have watched his game develop over the past five years and it's very exciting to see how he has developed," offered Russell. "Playing in the MJHL will be another step for him and I don't think it's going to be something that will set him back. He will continue to advance."

Dylan is also a firm believer that he is ready to make the jump. While it won't be easy at all times, he knows what he is capable of and he's excited to show off his talents in front of the great fans in the City of Sunshine.

"I feel like I have always been a hard worker and I believe that I can fit in on any team," said Duzan. "It's going to be a good jump and I can't wait to get going."

Dylan will join an organization led by head coach and general manager Doug Hedley. Hedley led the team to a Turnbull Cup title two seasons ago and then advanced to the national semi-final.

Doug has been around the game for a long time, and Duzan is looking forward to playing for him and the rest of the coaching staff, including Chad Facey, Rick Freese, and Dan Keeping.

"Very excited about that. I have heard so many great things about Doug and the entire staff," ended Duzan. "I can't wait to get to Dauphin to get things going."

Austin Watts

In other Kings news, the organization is pleased to announce the signing of Austin Watts. From Medicine Hat, AB, Watts stands in at 6'0" and played with the U18 Notre Dame Hounds last year. He had one goal and 10 assists with the Hounds last season and is also set to join the Kings for the 2024-25 season.