Dylan Smith is not the only impact player who won't be returning to the Estevan Bruins.
Team captain Josh Jelinski has decided to skip his last year of junior eligibility and continue working in his family's electric company.
The Avonlea native had informed the Bruins earlier this summer that he was considering the decision, and more recently he made it official.
Jelinski could not be reached for comment.
It was not a good summer for the 20-year-old, who pleaded guilty to and was convicted of impaired driving after he was pulled over the morning after the Bruins' year-end party.
He also lost a pair of close family friends in a short period of time.
Bruins head coach and general manager Keith Cassidy said the team tried to give Jelinski enough time to make a strong decision.
"Some things in life are more important than hockey and I respect his decision. We endeavoured to give him time over the summer to think about it and just make sure he was comfortable with that decision. A lot of guys (in that situation) ... the season rolls around and they're chomping to play.
"I think Josh is mature enough to know which way he wants to go with it."
Jelinski's particular brand of impact came in his ability to set the physical tone in games and devastate opponents with open-ice hits.
But Cassidy said that filling the void off the ice is the bigger priority.
"What I'm more concerned about is he was a pretty positive voice in the dressing room.
"When we decided to go with a younger captain last year, the reason we did that is we were hoping he'd be around for a year or two."
Cassidy added that Jelinski did "a tremendous job" learning on the fly as a 19-year-old captain, something that isn't always easy.
"He had some hiccups along the way, but all in all he did a solid job for us and I can't thank him enough for that."
There has been no decision made or timeline set for naming the Bruins' next captain. Cassidy mentioned defenceman Connor Milligan and forwards Cole Olson and Calder Neufeld as players expected to lead the way.
"I'm not going to say that one person's going to be a Josh Jelinski, because he's a pretty unique individual."
Jelinski is one of six eligible returnees who will not suit up in the black and gold this year.
Aside from him and Smith, defenceman Zach MacLellan is going to school, right winger Michael Hengen needs another knee surgery that will keep him out nine months and goalie Tyler Ross is with Muskegon of the United States Hockey League.
Defenceman-turned-winger Eric Baldwin requested a trade and the club agreed that it was time for him to move on.
Cassidy said when MacLellan was acquired at the trade deadline, "that was part of his deal, he was going to finish out the season and go to school the following year."
He added that the setback for Hengen, who missed nearly the entire 2010-11 season with the original injury, came as a bit of a surprise.
"I don't envy him trying to go through possible reconstructive surgery again."