2023 national mens u18 championship blazers west

Road to the Men’s U18 National Club Championship: Saskatoon Blazers

With a young core, the West Region champions are ready to showcase their talent on the national stage in Saint-Hyacinthe

Jonathan Yue
April 19, 2023

The Saskatoon Blazers will have a lot to showcase in Saint-Hyacinthe. Not only are they returning to the national championship for the first time in 49 years, the West Region champions are also icing 12 players born in 2007 or later, making them one of the youngest at the 2023 Men’s U18 National Club Championship.

Although young, assistant coach Troy Walkington believes a main reason the team has found success this year was because it was ready to carry the load and be leaders for each other throughout the season.

“Our captains and leadership group, they’ve done a fantastic job leading this team,” Walkington says. “But also the 15-year-olds, most of them come in having been captains of their previous team. That’s important when everyone is able to grab a part of the rope, pull in the same direction and become a cohesive group.”

The cohesion shone through on the scoreboard this season, as the Blazers filled the opposing net 232 times during the regular season before outscoring their opponents 70-27 in the postseason.

One of the many players to watch will be centre Cole Reschny. The third-overall pick by the Victoria Royals in the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft ranked second in the Saskatchewan Male AAA Hockey League (SMAAAHL) with 65 points (23-42—65) before adding another 25 (12-13—25) in the playoffs.

Not to be overshadowed by an offence that averaged 5.27 goals a game, the Blazers’ goaltending duo of rookie Grayson Malinoski and 18-year-old Alex Garrett both played roles on the road to nationals. The duo split the starting role throughout the season, with Malinoski finishing with 18 regular-season wins (second among SMAAAHL goalies) before Garrett carried the workload with a 11-2 record in the league playoffs and West Regional.

“Our goalies and defencemen have been outstanding for us this season,” Walkington says. “We hope to be able to score five goals a game and to be considered an offensive team, but we have four 15-year-old defencemen and one 15-year-old netminder, all paired with 17-year-old leaders to provide that veteran presence and come together as a unit on the backend.”

Saskatoon opens its Men’s U18 National Club Championship schedule against the Quebec representatives, the Blizzard du Séminaire Saint-François, on April 24.


Saskatchewan Male AAA Hockey League
Quarterfinal: defeated Notre Dame Hounds 3-0 (5-2, 4-1, 4-0)
Semifinal: defeated Warman Wildcats 3-0 (3-2, 3-2, 6-1)
Final: defeated Regina Pat Canadians 3-2 (2-3, 4-2, 2-3 OT, 4-3, 8-0)

West Regional
Preliminary round: 3-0-0 – first place (defeated Thunder Bay Kings 7-0, defeated Winnipeg Wild 8-2, defeated Warman Wildcats 6-3)
Final: defeated Warman Wildcats 4-3 (OT)


Record: 35-7-2 (1st in SMAAAHL)
Goals for: 232 (1st in SMAAAHL)
Goals against: 124 (3rd in SMAAAHL)
Top 3 scorers:
- Cole Reschny – 23G 42A 65P (2nd in SMAAAHL)
- Tyson Yaremko – 21G 42A 63P (3rd in SMAAAHL)
- Raiden Zacharias – 20G 43A 63P (4th in SMAAAHL)


Record: 9-2
Goals for: 45
Goals against: 19
Top 3 scorers
- Cole Reschny – 8G 9A 17P
- Raiden Zacharias – 3G 14A 17P
- Tyson Yaremko– 4G 9A 13P


1974 – Saskatoon Blazers | fourth place | 4-1 | 24GF 22GA


Young presence … poised … offensively and defensively responsible

Offensive talent … two-way player… supportive teammate

Leader on the ice … strong shot … strong presence


Cole Reschny – Victoria Royals 2022 (1st round, 3rd overall)
Reese Hamilton – Calgary Hitmen 2022 (1st round, 4th overall)
Lee Shurgot – Prince George Cougars 2022 (1st round, 9th overall)
Tyson Buczkowski – Prince George Cougars 2021 (1st round, 15th overall)
Corban Almen – Regina Pats 2022 (2nd round, 31st overall)
Kash Andresen – Lethbridge Hurricanes 2022 (2nd round, 33rd overall)
Brayden Smith – Regina Pats 2022 (3rd round, 53rd overall)
Emerson Clark – Brandon Wheat Kings 2022 (3rd round, 56th overall)
Tyson Yaremko – Swift Current Broncos 2020 (4th round, 68th overall)
Leo Seitz – Tri-City Americans 2022 (4th round, 68th overall)
Raiden Zacharias – Regina Pats 2021 (4th round, 75th overall)
Luke Dahlen – Kamloops Blazers 2021 (6th round, 115th overall)
Dayton Deschamps – Saskatoon Blades 2022 (7th round, 137th overall)
Alex Garrett –Calgary Hitmen 2020 (7th round, 144th overall)
Preston Baerwald – Moose Jaw Warriors 2022 (8th round, 168th overall)

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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