With the end of their junior hockey careers looming for a number of Elmira Sugar Kings, they’ve started solidifying plans to keep on with the game.
Next year, three Sugar Kings will find themselves playing with their former teammates, as Jonathan Reinhart, Joshua Slegers and Jake Brown have all committed to the University of Windsor for the 2017-18 season.
“Any time the guys are going on to continue playing, especially when they’re 20 is a good thing. Any time that you can extend the hockey career and get the schooling at the same time is a bonus,” Sugar Kings head coach Ty Canal said.
Reinhart began his junior career with Elmira in 2013. He spent two seasons with the Sugar Kings before making the move to the British Columbia Hockey League in 2015. That season he played 15 games with the Nanaimo Clippers before moving to the Alberta Junior Hockey League where he played three games with the Brooks Bandits. He eventually returned to Elmira to finish out the season here.
He chose to stay with the Sugar Kings for his final year of junior hockey this season. He broke numerous franchise records this season, including his own records set in previous years. He was also named the GOJHL Midwestern Conference’s MVP.
He finished the regular season with a record of 30-7-1, three shutouts, a 2.38 goals against average, and .931 save percentage.
Brown played three seasons with the Caledonia Corvairs – where they won the Sutherland Cup three times – before signing with Elmira this season for his final year of junior hockey. He tallied 22 goals and 56 assists in the regular season this year, just one point higher than his 41 goals and 36 assists last season. He’s had three game-winning goals out of his 13 goals and 14 assists so far in the playoffs.
Slegers started with the Junior C team, the Norfolk Rebels for the 2012-13 season, before jumping up to Junior B for the following two season with the St. Thomas Stars. He spent the 2015-16 season with the Waterloo Siskins and then signed with Elmira this season, where he’s earned six goals and 15 assists as a defenceman in the regular season, including two game-winning goals.
“It’s obviously going to be nice that they’ve played a year together and helping each other out when they’re away from home. They’ll have that comfort and they can play for one another again. It’s a nice thing to see,” Canal said.