The dedication, work ethic and leadership of Battlefords North Stars forward Boyd Wakelin didn’t go unnoticed throughout his junior hockey career and those attributes are among the reasons he has been recruited by the Augustana Vikings for the 2012-13 season.
Wakelin has committed to play in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference in Camrose, Alta. next season. The 20-year-old forward played 133 games over four seasons with the North Stars, recording 21 goals, 16 assists and 68 penalty minutes. Wakelin also had five goals in 27 career Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff games.
“Boyd made it his habit to score big goals last season,” said North Stars coach and general manager Kevin Hasselberg. “When the team needed a goal late in the game to tie, or in overtime for the win, Boyd developed the consistency in his game to achieve those results.”
Wakelin was a utility player for the North Stars, a key penalty killer and even played defence at times throughout his career. He was awarded the North Stars’ Mr. Hustle Award in 2011, the last time the award was presented.
Wakelin joins a thriving hockey program, which has strong ties to the SJHL. The Vikings won the ACAC championship in 2012 carrying 11 players on the roster with SJHL experience.
The Vikings are also coached by Blaine Gusdal, who coached in the SJHL for 10 seasons and said the reason so many SJHL players in the Vikings’ program is his comfort with the league and those involved in making the SJHL a high quality junior A league.
“I know first and foremost he is coming from a successful program and that is very important to what we are trying to do here,” said Augustana head coach and former Battlefords North Stars head coach Gusdal of Wakelin. “I found that over the last few years we really focused on bringing in guys who are character players and have great leadership qualities.”
The Vikings graduate just one player from their championship team this season and have 22 returning veterans, along with four freshmen already committed for next season.
“Boyd fits into the mix really well. He understands the process. He understands that coming in as a first year player he is probably going to pay his dues somewhat,” explained Gusdal. “He can come in and buy into what we are trying to do, be a solid role player and build towards being a big part of our team come the second half of the season and the playoffs.”
Wakelin becomes the third home-grown Battlefords North Stars forward to commit to a hockey program next season. Blake Tatchell received a NCAA Division I scholarship to the University of Alaska Anchorage and Brett Miller committed to York University last week.