Grady Hobbs' junior career has come to an end; however, he does have another accolade to add to his resume after a tremendous 2019-2020 campaign.

The former Dauphin King was named the league's most valuable player at the end of the season. Now, he's been named an honourable mention for the Canadian Junior Hockey League's most valuable player.

Hobbs was second in league scoring this past season with 81 points. His 43 goals were the most across the league as he played in all 60 games.

Grady's junior career came to an end with 73 goals and 80 assists in 231 career games. His biggest goal as a King came last month when he scored the double-overtime winner against the Portage Terriers. 

Hobbs will join the Rochester Institute of Technology men's hockey team in the fall.

The Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League certainly have many young prospects and you can now add another. 

With the 29th pick in the WHL Bantam Draft, the Thunderbirds selected Brayden Dube of Roblin, Manitoba. The 29th overall selection is the seventh in the second round. 

"I was so nervous during the whole thing, I'm honestly speechless right now," said Dube right after being drafted. "I'm so honoured that I've been drafted by a great organization."

"Seattle seems like a great city and they have a lot of fans," he added. "They also have a beautiful facility."

Dube is coming off a historic season with the Parkland Bantam Rangers. He led the league with 130 points (74G) in just 36 games. The Roblin native also set an all-time Ranger bantam record. 

Coming into the season, Dauphin's Mark Liwiski had the most points in a single season with 91 and that was back in 2015-2016. Tyson Zimmer who was drafted sixth overall by Brandon at last year's draft had 69 in the 2017-2018 season.

Brayden is now on top by 39 points as he averaged 3.61 points per game. Dube is also the only bantam Ranger to ever score more than 50 goals in one single season.

"I was just confident in myself and I worked hard all season," continued Dube. "It also helped that I was playing with a great group of guys who helped me a ton."

When it comes to all-time bantam scoring, Dube is fifth all-time. Back in the 2002-2003 season, Jonathan Toews notched 193 points, the most ever in 12 more games. If Dube would have played 48 games this season, he would have been on pace for 173 points.

Here is the top five list for scorers in league history.

1.  Jonathan Toews (C) 2002-2003 Winnipeg Warriors Bantam AAA 48 98 95 193 4.02    
2.  Colt Conrad (C) 2011-2012 Pembina Valley Hawks Bantam AAA 53 79 71 150 2.83    
3.  Eric Fehr (C/RW) 1999-2000 Pembina Valley Hawks Bantam AAA 46 76 60 136 2.96    
4.  Tyler Jeanson (C) 2011-2012 Pembina Valley Hawks Bantam AAA 64 66 70 136 2.13    
5.  Brayden Dube (F) 2019-2020 Parkland Rangers Bantam AAA 36 74 56 130 3.61

When it comes to what's next for Dube, he's planning on playing with the U18 Rangers in the fall. 

Aiden Ziprick has always been a leader off the ice throughout his hockey career. He's always set an example for the kids around him and now, Ziprick's skill on the ice has been on the rise year after year.

This past season with the bantam Rangers, Ziprick was the team's captain in a season where the team had a good chance to win a provincial title. Offensively, Ziprick had a breakout campaign, one that he had been waiting for. 

After recording five assists in the 2018-2019 season, the Russell native exploded with 14 goals this past season. You can add 33 assists and a 47 point total, 42 more than the previous season. A combination of having more confidence in himself and playing a bigger role led to success.

Being a second-year bantam, Ziprick is not only eligible to be selected in the WHL Bantam Draft, but he's also eligible for the MJHL Bantam Draft. However, when the MJHL Draft rolls around on Sunday, no one will be able to select the Russell native because the Waywayseecappo Wolverines have already done so. With their auto-protect selection earlier this week, Taylor Harnett and the rest of the organization decided to protect Aiden. 

Ziprick lives just 15 minutes away from the Waywayseecappo Arena Complex, the home of the Wolverines.

"I've had the opportunity to see him play for the past couple of seasons and he has so much upside," said Taylor Harnett, Head Coach, and General Manager. "Troy Hickman who is our Director of Scouting has watched him play and he knows the family quite a bit. It was a no-brainer for us, we're just lucky that he's in our area."

"We've done our homework when it comes to Aiden and everything certainly checked off," continued Harnett. 

If Aiden wasn't available to be auto-protected, Harnett added that the organization would have selected him quite high in Sunday's draft if he was still available. With the auto-protection, the Wolverines can now focus on selecting other bantam players. 

When it comes to what's up next for Aiden, one of his options is joining the Parkland U18 Rangers. Whether he stays in the Parkland or moves away to play the game he loves, the Wolverines are respectful of his decision and they'll be right by his side for his journey.

"We don't want to put pressure on any player we draft," concluded Harnett. "We also know that Major Jr. is a very appealing path to a lot of players and their families. We're looking forward to seeing what Aiden can do and we certainly want to see him wear a Wolverine jersey one day."

The exciting week will continue for Ziprick today. As mentioned above, he's eligible for the WHL Bantam Draft which takes place this afternoon. 

Stay tuned later this week for a Wolverines draft preview.

Manitoba Junior Hockey League clubs had the opportunity to Auto-Protect up to two players from their region yesterday ahead of the MJHL Bantam Draft this weekend.

The Dauphin Kings did just that with their two selections. The other Parkland team in the MJHL is the Swan Valley Stampeders and they also protected two players. Head Coach and General Manager, Barry Wolff announced that Swan River's Bo Eisner and Will Munro have been protected.

Both players suited up for the Bantam AAA Rangers this past season.

"Both of them have huge upside, there is no doubt about that. Both are right shots and it's becoming harder to find right-handed shooters," said Wolff. "Munro definitely has offensive capabilities and we're always trying to add offence."

"When it comes to Bo, he's so solid on the back end and he also has that offensive touch," continued Wolff. "It's important that we continue to protect local players and hopefully, they can become a Stampeder one day."

The Stampeders have had several local players over the years, many of which went on to have great seasons in their hometown. Most notably last season when Josh Tripp was named the league's most valuable player and he was a nominee for the CJHL's player of the year. 

This past season, the team included Lane Kirk, Jackson Betcher, and Carter Cockburn, all of whom call Swan River their home. Other players in the past that donned Stampeder colours include Riley McKay and Tristan Langan who are both now playing professional hockey. 

"It's an exciting time when we get to protect local players," he added. "If a local player is good enough to be in our lineup, we certainly want them. We want a local presence in our lineup going forward just as we have had in the past."

Munro added up 23 goals and 23 assists this past season. It was an increase of 33 points as he posted 13 points in the 2018-2019 season. Bo Eisner, meanwhile, had four goals and 15 assists this past season. He had 14 more points compared to the prior season.

It's safe to say that both the Swan River products were a big reason why the Rangers were provincial contenders.

"Both players need to continue to develop their strength and skating," concluded Wolff. "We're looking forward to getting them in our training camp now and practices when possible. Our goal is to have them in our lineup in the future."

Over the past two days, we've chatted about four different Parkland Bantam Rangers that were protected ahead of this weekend's draft and that's not it. Stay tuned tomorrow to find out who else was protected from this past season's provincial contending team.

Josie Black has only been a goalie on the soccer pitch for a few years. The Minitonas native has been playing on the Swan Valley Tigers for the past four years.

Playing with them provided the 17-year-old with many fond memories and ones that she will never forget. The grade 12 student is set to graduate this spring and although she won't be returning to the team that she started playing the game with, Josie is set to begin a new chapter in her soccer career.

Black has committed to play with the Brandon University Bobcats next season. The Bobcats play in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference.

"I definitely wasn't expecting this. It's a really good feeling and I was really excited when I first got approached," said Black. 

At the provincials in Minnedosa, a coach and former Bobcat player approached Black and they expressed their interest in the Minitonas native. They were looking for a goaltender and the rest is history. Just about two weeks later, Josie signed her letter of intent and she's now a Bobcat.

Black helped the Tigers win the zone title this past season. Although she hasn't played soccer her whole life, she is fully confident in herself leading up to the fall.

"Yeah, I think I'm ready for this. I know I maybe haven't had as much practice as everyone else, but I don't think that will hold me back," continued Black. "I've been playing at a high level for the past few years to prepare for this."

Josie isn't the only Tiger that is heading to BU. She'll be joining Sierra Makasoff and Ireland Staples. The three will form the Tiger Trio on the campus at Brandon University. 

"We've always been really close and we've played on the same team for the past four years," concluded Black. "It'll be a new experience because I'll be meeting new friends and living in a different area. It's going to be nice to have them by my side, they'll make the transition that much easier."

Monday, April 20, will go down as a day that several Parkland hockey players will never forget. Ahead of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Draft, the league's member clubs announced their Auto-Protects today.

The Dauphin Kings protected two players who had excellent seasons with the Parkland Bantam Rangers this past season. Kyan Grouette and Carter Zalischuk have been protected by Head Coach and General Manager, Doug Hedley and the remainder of the organization. 

"Carter is a kid that is very coachable and he's relentless on the puck," said Hedley. "We feel that Carter and Kyan are both legitimate junior hockey players in the future. We are very happy to have protected Kyan and Carter."

Zalischuk added up 23 points and 30 assists this past season for a Rangers team that was expected to contend for a provincial title before the season was cut short due to COVID-19.

Kyan Grouette, meanwhile, erupted after a solid first season with the Bantam Rangers team. He had 36 goals and 52 assists this past season, the second-most points on the Rangers behind Brayden Dube.

Both players have now graduated from U15 hockey and that means their next action will be at the U18 level. 

"If they decide to stay in Dauphin and play AAA hockey, that would be great for us," continued Hedley. 

Stay tuned in the coming days to hear from Kyan and Carter. As well, several other Parklanders were Auto-Protected today and we'll have the full details also in the coming days.

Next up for Doug Hedley is the MJHL Draft on Sunday, April 26 at 9:00 a.m.

John Marshall has been at the helm of the Dauphin Clippers varsity boys basketball team for the past two seasons. This year's team was an extremely strong one, one in fact, that had a good chance of winning a provincial banner to hang up in the rafters at the DRCSS.

Throughout the season, the team racked up five tournament championships, one second-place finish, and one third-place finish. They also won the zone championships that were contested in Swan River. 

With the off-season now well underway, coach Marshall has some more hardware to add to his trophy cabinet, one that has become quite full this season. Marshall has been named the 2019-2020 AAA Varsity Boys coach of the year. It's a first-time honour for the Clippers bench boss.

"I'm very humbled, there are many coaches out there that are doing great things with their programs," said Marshall. "Just to be nominated means so much to me. To actually be recognized as the coach of the year, it's truly an honour and I'm extremely humbled."

After capturing the zone title, the Clippers were ready to fly into the provincials. They would have been the second-ranked team heading into the event which would have started yesterday, last month. COVID-19; however, cancelled all high school provincial events which meant Dauphin didn't get a chance to cap off what had been a remarkable season to date.

"I am so very proud of all our players. Everyone had the opportunity to do something positive for us," continued Marshall. "Whether it was starters or guys coming off the bench, everyone made an impact and they were successful."

This year's Clippers squad was also a family affair. Matthew Marshall was a grade 12 student that played on the team. When it came to coaching, John was the head coach and he was joined by his sons, Logan, and Joshua Marshall. Basketball talk was certainly one that was a main topic around the dinner table and in his own words, this year truly was a dream come true for John.

Not just because the team was so good, but also because he had the chance to spend so much time doing what he loves with the people he loves.

"It's honestly a blessing and it's brought us closer together," concluded Marshall. "It's been such a special year and I can't say enough about the support we've received. We had parents coming on the road and supporting us, it's truly a blessing to be a part of this. And to win, it just makes things that much more special."

The 2019-2020 Clippers were a force to be reckoned with. We will never know if they could have captured a provincial gold medal this past season. We will; however, always remember the great group it was. 

A few Clippers players received some hardware as well so stay tuned to find out who and what they won.

The 2020 Western Hockey League Draft is just a few sleeps away. 

This is where second-year Bantam players can be selected by WHL clubs. The number one selection this year will be Connor Bedard.

The Parkland highlight of last year's draft was Tyson Zimmer of Russell, Manitoba, as he was selected sixth overall by the Brandon Wheat Kings. 

Ryder Thompson, also of Russell, was selected 105th overall by the Portland Winterhawks.

One of the top prospects from the Parkland for this draft is Brayden Dube who had an incredible season with the Rangers.

Stay tuned to CKDM as well have full coverage of the draft when it comes to Parkland prospects.

Elliott Viles was born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia. As a young man picking up a volleyball for the first time, Viles knew moving to North America would give him a good chance to hone his skills while playing a game he loved. 

Just moving wasn't that easy; however, for the outside hitter as he needed to find a team first to play on. The search for a team ended a few years ago as he crossed the Pacific Ocean on a flight to join the Brandon University Bobcats men's team in September of 2016. Now going into his fifth-year, Viles is on the verge of breaking some Bobcat history and even has the chance to pass one of the greatest Australian born volleyball players in history. 

93524583 582248105730221 2792682710471016448 nWith his fourth season now in the past, Viles off-season includes celebrating a feat that only one athlete in Bobcats athletics gets to celebrate after a long season. The Aussie has been named the Brandon Bobcats' male athlete of the year for the second time in his career which shows how good of a collegiate career he has had.

"Yeah, that's a huge honour for me. There have been so many great athletes that have won this award in the past and there were so many great Bobcats athletes this year," said Viles. 

Normally, BU hands out its award at a year-end banquet; however, because of COVID-19, the plan for the said banquet was put on hold. Instead, he received a call with the news.

"It was pretty unfortunate that there wasn't a banquet and I think everyone is thinking the same thing, but it still means a lot and I'm honoured," he added. 

Viles racked up 271 kills this past season and 39 aces as he helped the Bobcats advance to the conference semi-finals. The totals were also the third-best in the conference in both kills and aces. 

"I'm really happy with everything I did this year," continued Viles. "We had some ups and downs throughout the season so I think riding the wave was tough at times, but I tried to stay locked in throughout the season and I think I did a pretty good job of that."

Although Viles was a busy man every time he hit the court, on January 18, the Australian was extra busy. Playing against the University of Calgary Dinos, Elliot had 57 attacking attempts and he added up 27 kills which add up to a .316 hitting percentage. Viles also had four service aces and 31.5 points total, the most of any Bobcat or Dinos player. Although Brandon lost that game in four sets, Viles and the Bobcats did get the last laugh. 

On February 21, following a three-set sweep the night before, Viles had another 21 kills in a four-set win as Brandon swept Calgary. 

"I was definitely a bit sorer in the days following that and my arm was certainly feeling it," he continued. "We had some injuries at that time so I knew I would get a bit more of the load so I had to prepare for that. Although we didn't win that game, I was just trying to do whatever I could to help the team."

93425201 224548235303828 8065914806265184256 nWith his 39 aces, Viles has now added up 123 over his four-year career at BU. That's just 21 behind Sanderson who as mentioned above is one of the greatest BU players of all time and he's also one of the best Australian players to ever play the game. Elliott is also just 30 shy of the Canada West record which was set by Eric Loeppky this past season. 

When it comes to attacking, his 271 kills now have him at 957. That's 400 behind Sanderson so it's going to be hard to catch him, but if he gets a few more games with 57 attacks in a game, you never know. Roy Ching (1,242) and Sam Tuivai (1,094) sit in second and third place, respectively when it comes to all-time kills as a member of the Bobcats. 

Viles will need 286 kills next season to pass Ching while he needs just 137 to pass Tuivai.

"You see those guys and the success they've had, they're so talented and I never put myself in that tier," continued Viles. "It's pretty cool that I'm in the same area as those guys and I guess I look forward to trying to pass them next season. I certainly also look up to Sanderson, he was a force here and he was a force on the world stage."

Viles university volleyball career will come to an end after next season, but not without one more chance to play for a national title. The Bobcats are hosting the national tournament which gives them an automatic berth and it will be the second time he's played in the event.

That means that one season after Viles put up ridiculous numbers and moved one step closer to being in the top-3 of Bobcats volleyball history, he will have the chance to win a national banner in the gym he's called home for the past four years.

His story began in Adelaide, South Australia when he first picked up a volleyball; however, his university story will end in the same place it started, the Healthy Living Centre on the Brandon University campus.

"It's super exciting and super cool. Making the nationals is also the goal," he added. "Knowing that we're hosting the event is a great feeling. The end goal is winning that championship and raising a banner to the rafters at BU."

"We have incredible community support in Brandon and I know they will be out in full force for that," concluded Viles.

After his career does come to a close at BU, Viles hopes to play professionally.

The Swan Valley Tigers 2019 soccer team was certainly a club with many seniors. Of their 20 rostered players, 12 of them were in grade 12 which meant many were going to be playing their final competitive soccer seasons.

Four Tigers; however, are moving on to the next level in time for the 2020 season and three will be joining forces to remain teammates for the next at least few years. Ireland Staples, Sierra Makasoff, and Josie Black have all committed to play with the Brandon University Bobcats next season.

Brynlee Spencer, meanwhile, will be joining the Assiniboine Community College Cougars. It's not often that a small town can graduate four players to the next level, but the Tigers have done just that. 

Jody Williams, who coaches multiple sports at the school, has been instrumental in helping the team succeed over the years with his ability to get the best out of each and every player.

"It's a reflection of how hard those girls worked for the past few years," said Williams. "Our whole team worked really hard and a few are getting the chance to move up to the next level. In a way I'm surprised; however, in a way, I'm not surprised because those girls are really high quality on and off the field."

Stay tuned as we'll chat with Ireland, Sierra, Josie, and Brynlee in the coming days.

When it came to the overall team success this year, the Tigers certainly made some noise. They won their zone championship over Gilbert Plains which advanced them to the provincials.

In the provincials, they won their first game and they played the top-ranked Morden Thunder very tight in a 2-1 loss in a quarter-final. The team ended up falling in the consolation semi-final in what turns out to be a solid year for the veteran led group.

"We found ourselves in the zone finals frequently over the past couple of years and we had some success when we advanced to it," continued Williams. "We expected to make the provincials and we did that. It's never easy to compete with teams around Winnipeg, but we put up a good fight."

There may be no hockey going on right now. However, if we take a look back at last year's NHL playoffs, a couple of Parklanders used today as the day to move on in the playoffs.

The team beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-1, to sweep their series.

In the victory, Ryan Pulock played a team-leading 24:05. As you know, Barry Trotz was the head coach of the team.