HUMBOLDT — Cage Newans is pleased that his hockey journey took him from his oceanside hometown of Qualicum Beach, B.C. to Saskatchewan.
The 19-year-old forward is playing a big role in his second season for the Humboldt Broncos. As of Tuesday, he was the top scorer on the squad, which had the fourth best record in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League at 15-7-1-0.
“Playing for the Broncos is an incredible experience,” Newans said. “Playing in front of your amazing fans every Saturday night is something special, something that not many people get to experience during their junior careers. We have the best staff I’ve been ever been a part of and an incredible group of guys this year.”
While Newans is far from home, he has strong ties to Saskatchewan and the SJHL on his father’s side. His dad, Troy, played for the Yorkton Terriers. His uncle, Chris Newans, suited up for the Broncos and Terriers in the late 1980s. The latter Newans also had a long minor pro career.
“Playing in the same league as my dad and uncle is also something that’s really special to me,” Newans said. “Whenever we go to Yorkton, there’s always a few people that recognize my last name and come up to me and have a conversation. It’s also very nice to be close to family that lives in Saskatchewan. It’s a really cool feeling to be able to follow in my dad and uncle’s footsteps playing in the SJHL and hopefully there’s more than just me that do it in the future.”
The 6-foot, 190-pounder is playing a big role for the Broncos. The 19-year-old Newans led the team with 23 points in 23 games, as of Tuesday. He also makes an impact with his veteran leadership, attitude and work ethic.
“Cage has compete written all over him,” Humboldt head coach Scott Barney. “He’s engaged every shift and carries his heart on his sleeve. He’s been a leader on and off the ice and is using his shot in areas to make himself a threat every time he’s on the ice. The way he plays the game is what you want when playoff time starts.”
As of Tuesday, Newans was tied for second on the team in goals. Both him and Jacob Boucher had 10, while Ben Kotylak led the squad with 12. Newans topped the team with four powerplay goals. He is well on pace to surpass the 15 goals and 33 points he posted in 46 games last season.
“I’ve been playing with two really skilled forwards in (Lucas) Ceccarelli and Boucher. Our chemistry has been really good from day one and it’s allowed all three of us to excel our games and put up points. Also, our powerplay has been real good, which always helps,” Newans said.
While Newans and the Broncos have had success on the ice, they also place importance on what they do off of it. The team participates in community activities and engages with Humboldt’s youth in various ways.
“Being active in the community of Humboldt is very special and something we take a lot of pride in here,” Newans said. “It’s always nice to go to elementary schools and hang out with the kids who look up to us. Making their day is always a good feeling and something we’re really fortunate to be able to do.”
He joined the Broncos last season after seeing action in one game for the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League. Newans had previously split the past two campaigns between the major junior Royals and the Oceanside Generals, a Junior B club close to home in Parksville.