Mark Edmands was a member of the Power Dodge Estevan Bruins for two years but his most recent Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League action might be his most meaningful.
Edmands is patrolling the blueline for the Humboldt Broncos, a team that will be a lot of fans’ sentimental favourite this season. Edmands and the Broncos won 5-3 Saturday at Affinity Place in their first trip to Estevan this year.
“It’s one of my favourite games to play this year and it was fun,” Edmands said.
A total of 16 people connected with the team, including players, coaches, the trainer, play-by-play voice and the team’s statistcian, died en route to a playoff game last April. The league conducted a selection draft of sorts to help replenish the players lost.
Edmands was chosen in September after training camp and realized he and the Broncos would be playing the Bruins twice in their first 10 games, which is a lot considering the teams aren’t in the same division.
“I saw that (schedule) and I was really excited to come back here to Estevan,” he said.
He was surprised when he was notified of the choice that sent him to the Broncos.
“I didn’t have any idea I was coming here and I just took the opportunity,” he said. “I’m glad and I’m enjoying it so far.”
Edmands is originally from Regina and has been Bruins property since he played midget hockey with the AAA Pat Canadians. He played in 108 regular season games with the Bruins over the last two seasons – plus a pair of games as an affiliated player during a spell in 2015-16 – and scored six goals and 25 assists for 31 points in those seasons. He played in 25 playoff games for the Bruins, collecting a pair of assists, and was one of the members of last season’s team that went all the way to the Canalta Cup final.
With that experience, Edmands still keeps in contact with some of his ex-Bruins teammates leading into their games against each other this season.
“For sure I’ve been talking with a few of the guys,” said Edmands, who has an assist and 18 penalty minutes in his first 11 games this year. “It’s all good with them. We were looking to beat them every time we come in to play them.”
Once in Humboldt, he wanted to do whatever he could to help his new team.
“I was looking at whatever they had and I didn’t know what they had as a team,” he said. “I was just looking at whatever role to help out, that’s what I was looking for.
“There’s a lot of young guys so I’m looking to bring some experience to this team.”
The Broncos have started the year 7-3-1-0, which is good enough for first place in the Global Ag Pro Risk Division, one point ahead of the Kindersley Klippers.
“We’re a new team and there’s only two returning guys so we’re doing pretty well to start the season,” Edmands said.
But it’s odd to see players that he’s been playing with for years, even going back to midget with Jake Heerspink and Turner Ripplinger.
“I pretty much haven’t played against any of them and now I’ve got to play against all of them,” Edmands said.