The Steinbach Pistons sent a number of players to the MJHL/SJHL Showcase that was held in Winnipeg earlier in the week.
Steinbach was originally set to send 11 players but one had to back out due to injury.
Players that went included forwards Dawson Milliken, Landon Roberts, Davis Fry, Travis Hensrud, Ian Amsbaugh, Nick Mikan, and Leo Chambers. Defensemen Warren Clark and Noah Szabo as well as goaltender Dominik Wasik. Plus, Head Coach Paul Dyck was behind the bench for the MJHL U18 team. Ty Paisley was set to go but did not attend due to injury.
Here's a look at how each Piston player did over the two games.
Team MJHL 20U Black
20-year-old Dawson Milliken - Milliken was maximum effort every shift that he was on the ice. He outworked opponents up and down the ice. He generated a couple of scoring chances because of his hustle and desire. He fell into a leadership role and led by example. When times got tough for his team, his drive and compete level really stood out. There are a number of programs that would be lucky to have him.
19-year-old Davis Fry - Fry showed more edge to his game as the physicality really ramped up as both games got on. He managed to score a goal but he didn't shy away from throwing the body around. Any time he got the puck in the offensive zone, the sense was something positive was going to happen. He could have potted a couple more but overall, a really nice showing for the Mercyhurst commit.
Team MJHL 20U Red
20-year-old Landon Roberts - Every time Roberts touched the ice, the SJHL knew about it. Right away Roberts established himself as a physical force and laid a number of bone-rattling hits, one specifically that ended up leading to a goal. On the bench, his leadership and personality really came through as he could be seen supporting teammates and heard encouraging his guys throughout the games. Off the ice, Roberts also received a lot of praise for his humor, kindness, and professional nature, proving character off the ice goes just as far as what a player can do on the ice.
20-year-old Ian Amsbaugh - Without a doubt, when Amsbaugh touched the puck, there was a sense of something magical could happen. Even surrounded by some of the best both provinces have to offer, Amsbaugh slowed the game down and displayed his excellent vision. He helped generate chances for his lines without forgetting his defensive responsibilities. For someone who smiles a lot anyways, there was plenty of good reason for Amsbaugh to put on a big grin thanks to his work over the Showcase.
20-year-old Travis Hensrud - If there was a committed player that gained the most out of the Showcase, it was Hensrud who cemented himself as an MJHL MVP candidate. He never stopped working up and down the ice. He was infuriating the SJHL as they tried their best to stop him and even when he did get hit, he would bounce right back up and keep going. He scored and generated offense but what impressed the most was his non-stop work. He went in a known commodity but came out as one of the most well-respected players of the event.
20-year-old Dominik Wasik - Much like he has done all year, he just quietly went about his business and got the job done. Every shot that went his way, it felt like he could stop. He was so well positioned and so calm, many watching who had not seen him before were blown away. Much like he's done all year, he battled and give his team a chance to find a way to win the game. He was the backbone of his club and a major reason why they won the second game of their tournament.
19-year-old Leo Chambers - Both leagues learned what many in Steinbach have known for a while, Leo Chambers is special. The way he moved around the ice, always in a good position, willing to throw his weight around, set up a teammate for a pass, or be in a shooting position to be dangerous was evident. Chambers did whatever his linemates needed him to do and proved to be a swiss army knife, willing and able to be whatever his team needed at the moment. He should come out of the event with a lot of confidence and be proud of what he did. He's going to break the heart of a number of schools that don't get him when he decides where he wants to play in the future.
U18 Team White
18-year-old Noah Szabo - Fantastic showing by Szabo. He was all over the ice making great reads, jumping in or pinching at the right time, putting shots toward the goal, and defending his crease when the SJHL tried to crash the net. Perhaps the biggest takeaway was his skating. With so much talent on the ice, Szabo really stood out using his quick feet and showed off his ever-developing hockey IQ with some well-timed poke checks. All around a fantastic couple of days for the Ontario boy, and he heads back to Steinbach as arguably one of the top two defenders throughout the entire tournament.
18-year-old Warren Clark - Clark showed off what makes him elite but also added a little sandpaper to his game which really stood out. The big-bodied defender has always been known as a mover and shaker but over the two games, he proved he can be a physical force as well. A number of times he stepped up to make some hits and had guys backing off whenever he was lurking. The offense was tough to come by for the whole team but when Clark did get a chance, he showed off his elite hands and edges, creating space for himself. St. Cloud will be very happy with what they saw from the defender who continues to grow and add to his game.
18-year-old Nick Mikan - All smiles off the ice, Mikan added a lot of snarl to his game over the two days. Taking a page out of the Landon Roberts playbook, Mikan added some major physicality to his game and it showed in the respect he earned from other players on the ice. He wasn't afraid to lean on guys or even lay the big hit. When he had the puck, he exploded with a speed burst that caused defenders to have to be perfect to stop him. His drive and work ethic will make St. Thomas and the Steinbach Pistons very proud.
Head Coach Paul Dyck - He wasn't there just to be seen, he had to do some coaching. In the first game, he got his team to get out of what wasn't working and switch into a dump/chase/drive sort of mentality that got his team back into the game and gave them a chance to win. He even pulled the goalie for an extra attacker, pushing to tie the game late. There wasn't much to highlight in the second game as things spiraled pretty quickly but the one takeaway was pointing out to the officials that a faceoff, which was originally going to be outside the offensive zone, should be inside to the left of the goalie. Dyck and the staff won the argument and got the faceoff location they desired. Fist bumps all the way around.