(Spruce Grove, AB) - The Spruce Grove Saints are proud to announce local product Brayden Nicholetts has committed to the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Nicholetts, who can now call himself a Nanook, will join his new teammates for the 2020-2021 season making the trek north to the city of Fairbanks, Alaska. The Nanooks compete in the WCHA (Western Collegiate Hockey Association) in the Men’s NCAA Division I Hockey League.
Nicholetts was acquired by the Saints in October of 2019 after spending 3 seasons with the Drumheller Dragons organization. In 34 games as a Saint the Spruce Grove native has posted 14 goals and 17 assists accompanied by 91 penalty minutes.
Saints General Manager Rob Sklaruk was happy to see another Saint and local player move onto the next level.
“It’s very satisfying to see a local kid like Brayden get this opportunity. We wanted him (Nicholetts) to be a Saint and were excited when we got him. Since being here he has been an important veteran player for our group. Brayden has provided offense, physicality and he’s always the first to stick up for his teammates. We’re very proud of him”. Exclaimed Sklaruk.
In 165 games of AJHL hockey the 6 ft. 185 lbs. left shooting forward has logged 46 goals, 57 assists and 461 penalty minutes.
After officially making his decision, Nicholetts sat down to speak about becoming a Nanook.
“I am really excited to start the next chapter of my life and continue my dream of playing hockey at the next level.” Stated Nicholetts. “None of this would be possible with out the support of my family, friends, teammates and coaches, so I want to say thank you to them and the Saints for helping me get to this point.”
As a 20-year-old with out a scholarship secured it can sometimes be a daunting task to worry about your future while staying present in your current season. Nicholetts credits a mantra he lives by, so much so he had it tattooed on him to help him through uncertain times. It reads ‘Learn From Yesterday, Hope for Today, Live For Tomorrow’.
When asked why he chose Alaska, Nicholetts was quick to note that opportunity knocks.
“Fairbanks is graduating six forwards this year so there is a huge opportunity for me to earn meaningful playing time in my first year. That was a big reason in helping make my decision.” Nicholetts continued. “I think Alaska is going to be a really amazing place to live so I’m looking forward to experiencing northern life while getting a great education. I can’t wait to get up there!”
Saints Head Coach Bram Stephen shared his thoughts on the 20-year-old’s commitment.
“Alaska provides a great opportunity for Brayden to continue his academic and athletic career. He should get every chance to be an everyday player for the Nanooks.” Stephen noted. “Since joining our team he has been everything we imagined. A hard-nosed player who has contributed at almost a point per game pace offensively and has a well-rounded game. We are thrilled for Brayden and his family, he has sacrificed and worked very hard for this. It’s well deserved.” Stephen finished.
The Saints organization would like to congratulate Brayden and his family on his exciting achievement.
There are 3 home games remaining in the regular season. February 9th vs. Grande Prairie, February 16th vs. Bonnyville and the regular season finale February 27th vs. Olds.
You can catch the Saints as they start their quest for a 6Th AJHL Championship by purchasing your playoff packages at Saints home games, at the Saints office, or online.
To purchase game day and/or playoff packages visit tickets.sprucegrovesaints.ca
For group and team ticket packages contact the Saints to book your game now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Saints office 780-960-TEAM.