The Battlefords North Stars will have an offensive weapon in their lineup next year they weren’t expecting. Forward Reed Delainey will be returning for a fourth season with the team.
In early 2015 Delainey received a scholarship to the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and was originally committed to play for the Tigers in the 2016-17 season.
“(Rochester) wanted me to go there next year, they were pushing for it,” Delainey said. “It was me who brought it up to them about not going. I’m not disappointed at all; I think another year under my belt will help me in the long run.”
In his three years in the Battlefords, Delainey scored 39 goals and 51 assists in 124 games. He’s been a staple of the North Stars’ specialty teams over his three years, and has big expectations for himself for 2016-17.
“I’m hoping to lead our team in scoring and lead the league in scoring,” Delainey admitted. “More importantly I want to help lead the team to a championship. I’ve been on a few teams over the past few years that have been the ‘team to beat’ and we’ve fallen short in the second round. If we can win a championship I think that will help my personal goals come true as well.”
Delainey said the decision to come back wasn’t easy, and he deliberated with North Stars head coach and general manager Kevin Hasselberg and his family for nearly a month before officially making up his mind.
He’s aiming for a full, healthy season as well. Last season he suffered a broken wrist in just the third game of the year, before suffering a knee injury shortly before playoffs.
Being a 1996-born player, this is his last year as a junior hockey player regardless of whether or not he had an NCAA scholarship.
His return puts the North Stars at six 96-born players, two from the league maximum. The others include captain Kendall Fransoo, Logan Nachtegaele, Coby Downs, goaltender Ryan Rewerts and newly-acquired Connor Logan.
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