Make it five for five.
With Gregg Lee’s commitment to play at Fredonia State University having been announced earlier this week, all five 20-year-olds from the Waywayseecappo Wolverines 2018-19 graduating class have now committed to play at the next level for this upcoming season.
Each player in the graduating class certainly played a big factor in the teams overall improvement and success which saw the club reach their highest win total (28) in the last seven years.
Leading the team in many different ways on and off the ice, the 2018-19 class will certainly be remembered as a hardworking, dedicated group that came to the rink every day willing to learn and get better. Wolverines Head Coach and General Manager, Taylor Harnett shared more about each individual moving on and what they will bring to their new teams.
Jake Bestul – Wisconsin-River Falls | NCAA DIV III
The Hibbing, Minnesota native spent three seasons in a Wolverines uniform where he scored 28 goals and 36 assists over 166 games in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Jake spent his final season with the Wolverines as the teams’ captain and led the charge in the playoffs, scoring three goals and two assists in four games.
“Jakes leadership qualities are going to help with his transition to the college level. Jake was able to show that he deals well with adversity which is something that he went through in his three seasons in Waywayseccapo. Jake is very coachable and he is the type of player that coaches would categorize as a utility guy, with the ability to play all situations. He is able to approach the game with humility and most importantly, he’s a fun guy to be around.” – Wolverines Head Coach and General Manager, Taylor Harnett
Karstin McDonald – Portage College | ACAC
Acquired at the trade deadline from the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers, Karstin McDonald came to the Wolverines and provided a veteran presence on the back-end. In just 20 regular season games, the steady defender from Turtleford, Saskatchewan scored three goals and seven assists which included an overtime winner that helped the team reach the postseason.
“The thing about Karstin is that he’s determined and focused on what he wants to do. He has a goal in mind with a career in policing and seems to have the ability to work well in a team setting. Also, he’s got a great defensive skill set which will help him on the ice at the next level.” – Wolverines Head Coach and General Manager, Taylor Harnett
Brandon Lawson – Northern Alberta Institue of Technology | ACAC
A two-year Wolverine from Jasper, Alberta, Lawson was named an assistant captain and truly stepped up as a leader on and off the ice. In 77 career games with the Wolverines, he notched 15 goals and 25 assists. Brandon was also a force in the playoffs when it mattered, scoring three goals in four games.
“In Brandon’s case, he showed last year that he wanted to have an impact season, so that commitment level to better himself in the offseason made him one of the top forwards on our team and in the league. He has shown in his junior career that he has the ability to improve each season which is important in any sport with the ability to continue to grow. He is also a great teammate and person, his leadership qualities were a big part of the success we had as a team this past season.” – Wolverines Head Coach and General Manager, Taylor Harnett
Isaac LaBelle – Trinity Western University | BCIHL
Another two-year Wolverine, Isaac LaBelle carried the load for the Wolverines in his 20-year-old season, starting in 49 games and leading his team to the playoffs. The netminder from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan was also named runner-up for both the MJHL’s MVP award and the leagues’ Top Goaltender.
“Isaac LaBelle is the type of player that coaches love to have on their team. He is a very easy going individual and a voice of reason in the locker room when things maybe aren’t going so well. When he speaks, everyone listens. Isaac had a fantastic season which drew a lot of attention to him and he didn’t get distracted. He’s very focused and determined in his position, and is a player who has shown he has the ability to get better every season. He’s has shown resilience and the ability to battle adversity. He’s got a great sense of humor and a funny wit about him, teammates will love him. He has the ability to make his teammates better players and people which is a unique quality.” – Wolverines Head Coach and General Manager, Taylor Harnett
Gregg Lee – Fredonia State University | NCAA DIV III
The 20-year-old from Aliso Viejo, California came to the Wolverines in a trade before the start of the regular season. While playing in 55 games for the Wolverines where he scored 14 goals and 14 assists, Lee was also named the teams Scholastic Player of the Year for his efforts off the ice in completing four college courses in his spare time away from the rink.
“Greg has the ability to do great things when he has the puck. He was able to help our powerplay succeed in the second half of the season, he’s a 200-foot player. Greg battled some adversity early on, but was not deterred and kept his focus and continued to work hard each day. That mindset played off and was able to help the Wolverines secure a playoff spot. He was able to maintain post-secondary courses as well as come to the rink and work hard every day which is going to prepare him as a student-athlete which is not an easy task for anybody. He’s an easy going kid and he’s popular among his teammates.” – Wolverines Head Coach and General Manager, Taylor Harnett