HUMBOLDT — That Kade Olsen’s Humboldt Broncos jersey is adorned with a “C” this season comes as no surprise to anyone associated with the team.
“He’s always been a leader – even from day one when he was in Humboldt here,” Broncos head coach Scott Barney said. “He sets a good example on and off the ice for the players and is a good role model for our organization. We’re excited to have Kade here as a captain.”
The defenceman from Saskatoon played three games with the Broncos in 2017-2018 as an affiliated player and has been a fixture in the organization ever since. This is the third straight campaign that Olsen has worn a letter for the team. Last season’s captain Doug Scott, now at the Rochester Institute of Technology, was not shocked at all that Olsen was tabbed as the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team’s captain.
“He’s been around for four years now and has put so much hard work in for the organization, it’s only fitting,” Scott said.
In addition to Olsen, the Broncos’ leadership group this season includes Logan Kurki, Braiden Koran, and Humboldt’s own Noah Barlage. Barney said each leader brings something different to the table.
“The biggest thing overall is they are some of our hardest working players. That’s important when guys are your captains,” said Barney, who stated that Olsen’s “work ethic is second to none.”
In addition to his leadership, Olsen has an impact on the ice for the Broncos. The 6-foot-1, 177-pounder is a big body who defends well and can chip in offensively. He has one goal and three points in eight games this season. Humboldt netminder Rayce Ramsay said that Olsen is good at limiting quality chances.
“He plays with an edge,” Barney said. “He’s great on the penalty kill. A great defender and puck mover for us.”
Olsen was a well-regarded blue line prospect coming out of bantam hockey. The Melfort Mustangs grabbed him in the second round, 23rd overall, in the 2016 SJHL Bantam Draft. His rights were swapped to Humboldt in 2017 with Jaxon Joseph for Tristen Elder.
The next season Olsen was part of the rebuilding of the Humboldt franchise after the April 6, 2018 bus crash. The tragedy claimed 16 lives, including Joseph’s. Olsen has helped set the culture for the Broncos.
“Kade is a really good guy to have on the team,” said Ramsay, who was with the Broncos for the 2018-19 campaign before departing for the Western Hockey League and now has returned. “He takes pride in wearing the Broncos logo and puts the team before himself, both on and off the ice. You know that if someone makes a bad play, he will have their back and is always going to do his best to bring positive energy to our team.”
An injury and then the SJHL campaign being cancelled prevented Olsen from playing any games with the Broncos last season. However, Scott said that Olsen was always someone he could rely on. “He is a guy that you would see doing all the little things around the rink,” Scott said.
“Everything he does is for the team. Something you don’t expect a veteran to do, like picking up pucks, he will do, and he wouldn’t complain or think twice about it. Also, when the boys needed to get pumped up, he wouldn’t be afraid to speak up and throw the knuckles around. I’m super happy for him and wish him and the team all the best this season.”
The Broncos last week
Monday, Oct. 4 in Warman
Weyburn 5, Humboldt 3
Broncos Scorer: Alec Saretzky (3)
Red Wings Scorers: Jacob Jakusz, Drew Kuzma, Braden Birnie, Brandon Kasdorf, Dante Ballarin
Goalies: Liam Stevens, Humboldt, 6 saves on 9 shots; Rayce Ramsay, Humboldt, 12 on 14; Joseph Young, Weyburn, 34 on 37
Notes: After trailing 2-0 at the end of the first period, the Broncos matched the Red Wings in scoring the rest of the way and outshot them 26-15. Bronco Connor McGrath from LeRoy had two assists.
Wednesday, Oct. 6 in Warman
Humboldt 3, Estevan 2
Broncos Scorer: Connor McGrath (3)
Bruins Scorers: Caelan Fitzpatrick, Griffin Asham-Moroz
Goalies: Rayce Ramsay, Humboldt, 33 saves on 35 shots; Cam Hrdlicka, Estevan, 31 on 34
Notes: For the second straight game, one Bronco scored all of Humboldt’s goals. Humboldt led 2-1 and 3-2 at the intermissions. Humboldt forward Alec Saretzky recorded two assists.
Friday, Oct. 8 in North Battleford
Humboldt 3, Battlefords 2
Broncos Scorers: Braiden Koran, Alec Saretzky, Cage Newans
North Stars Scorers: Easton Johns, Colby Bear
Goalies: Rayce Ramsay, Humboldt, 35 saves on 37 shots; Ulrik Roussel, Battlefords, 29 on 32
Notes: Newans scored the game-winner. After a 0-0 first period, the North Stars scored twice in the second to grab a 2-0 lead. Humboldt scored three unanswered goals in the third period to earn the victory. Saretzky’s marker came on the powerplay. Connor McGrath had two assists.
Saturday, Oct. 9 in Humboldt
Humboldt 6, Battlefords 4
Broncos Scorers: Alec Saretzky (2), Logan Kurki, Lucas Ceccarelli, Reilly Mckinnon, Cage Newans
North Stars Scorers: Matthew Henry, Steven Kesslering, Colby Bear, Dylan Esau
Goalies: Rayce Ramsay, Humboldt, 36 saves on 30 shots; Cameron Benson, Battlefords, 34 on 41
Notes: Battlefords led 2-1 after the first period. Humboldt held a 4-3 advantage at the second intermission. Humboldt had one powerplay marker on two opportunities while the North Stars were 0-for-5 with the man advantage. Connor McGrath and Braiden Koran each had two assists.
It did not take long for Cage Newans to make an impression with the Broncos. He scored the game winner on Friday night after joining the team less than 48 hours earlier. Newans followed that up with a goal and an assist the next night.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound forward played one game with the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals this season. The 18-year-old from Qualicum Beach, B.C. split last season between the Oceanside Generals, located close to home in Parksville, and the Royals.
Broncos Strong Start
Galloping out of the gate with a 6-2-0-0 record, the Broncos were tied for second in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League standings, as of Monday. Melfort sat just ahead with a 7-1-0-1 record and 15 standings points. Flin Flon, 6-3-0-0, was tied with Humboldt with 12 points.
As of Monday, goalie Rayce Ramsay led the league with six wins. Broncos forward Connor McGrath topped the SJHL in points with 17 in eight games. Teammate Alec Saretzky was one spot behind with 15 points and a league-best 11 goals – four more than second-place Elliot Dutil of Notre Dame. With Braiden Koran and Logan Kurki both collecting 12 points, the Broncos boasted four of the SJHL’s top seven scorers. Nicksha Eric topped the Humboldt defenceman and was sixth in the SHL in blue line scoring with six points. Humboldt product Noah Barlage had five points and was 11th in points among league defencemen.
The Humboldt Broncos tangle with the Notre Dame Hounds (3-4-0-0) on Tuesday in Wilcox. The team visits Yorkton (2-7-0-0) on Friday before playing the Terriers at the Elgar Petersen Arena on Saturday.