Brad Both of Barwick was named co-winner of the rookie-of-the-year award with the Lebret Eagles of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
Both, 18, played in 60 of the Eagles’ 64 games last season, scoring 10 goals and six assists while recording 102 penalty minutes.
The former forward with the ‘AAA’ Kenora Stars was drafted in the 11th round (177th overall) as a 16-year-old by the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League in 1996.
He reportedly has attracted interest from at least one team from the Western Hockey League but Lebret head coach Doug Hedley hinted Both’s decision to advance to a higher level of hockey should be made at the collegiate level.
“Brad’s a great power forward, who could become a great college player,” he said, noting Lake Superior State has expressed interest in acquiring Both.
“It would be awfully tough for him to go in and play in the [WHL] as a 19-year-old and then come back as an over-age player,” he added.
Hedley said Both has the potential to be one of the team’s top six forwards next season if he returns to LeBret, and should see increased time on the power play.
“He would have a good chance of coming back and wearing a letter for us,” said Hedley, who has spent the last two seasons in Lebret. “He is unbelievable on the wall, has good character, and is one of the toughest players in the league.”
Lebret was ousted in the South final this season by the Weyburn Red Wings, who went on to defeat the Winkler Flyers to earn a berth to the Royal Bank Cup.