Written by: Rory McGouran
Karter McNarland is one of two Humboldt Broncos to be nominated for a year-end award.
McNarland is up for the Rookie of the Year Award and is joined by fellow nominees in Flin Flon’s Tristan Lemyre and Estevan’s Griffin Asham-Moroz.
McNarland had a lot of voices praising his talents as he entered his rookie season, but also a few pundits who were unsure if the 16-year-old was ready for the jump to junior hockey. It fair to say that not only has he fit right in, but excelled beyond expectations.
McNarland, who just turned 17-years-old on February 10th, played the majority of his 54 games as a 16-year-old. That feat is something still rare to the SJHL, with only a few 16-year-olds suiting up throughout the year, let alone playing in every single game. He sits second in the SJHL in rookie scoring with 43 points (10g, 33a), leads all rookies in assists, and is second among first-year players in powerplay points with 19.
Not to discredit Griffin Asham-Moroz’s strong season in Estevan, but It looks to be a two-horse race between McNarland and Flin Flon’s Lemyre for the final nod. Lemyre leads all rookies with 57 points in 40 games played, and other than time missed due to injury, has been an offensive force all year long. However, Lemyre is a 2001 born who has just turned 19, and routinely plays alongside 20-year-old, former Major Junior players in Alec Malo and Cole Rafuse. McNarland, who’s born in 2003, suits-up on a line with two other fellow rookies and has just put together the best season by a 16-year-old in the SJHL over the last decade.
It will be up to media members to vote whether they like Lemyre’s point production dominance, or McNarland’s unlikely and historic 16-year-old campaign to stand out as the victor.