Last week, North Stars captain Layne Young said he knew linemate MacGregor Sinclair was good enough to get a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division-1 scholarship for 2019-20.
Following a weekend where Sinclair recorded four goals and an assist in two games, including a natural hat-trick on Friday, Sinclair announced he would be doing just that by committing to the Division-1 Canisius College Golden Griffins.
"When I see a player that's going to go Div-1, I just know," Young joked after practice Tuesday. "I didn't know he was going to commit [right now]. But I just knew he was good enough that he was going to commit."
Teammate Ryan Rosenberg, who has been practicing with the team, but who's transfer has yet to be approved by Hockey Canada, also said he knew a committment was pretty much a guarantee for Sinclair.
Rosenberg did admit he was expecting an announcement later in the year.
"He's just scoring, putting the team on his back day in and day out," Rosenberg said. "It was obvious he was going to commit. Full ride is what he deserves."
Sinclair won't be going just yet.
He still has another year left of junior eligibility and plans to return to the Battlefords next season, meaning he'll be a freshman in 2019-20.
"It just seemed like a good fit for both parties," Sinclair said on Tuesday. "The program seemed to have a lot of interest in me and I really like their facilities.
"The coaches are obviously really nice. That was actually a big thing, was how excited they were for me with how I was playing. And when I committed they were even more excited."
Canisius, which is a private college located in Buffalo, N.Y., first saw Sinclair at the showcase in Saskatoon in late September.
Then they saw him light it up this weekend, for which he was subsequently named the SJHL player of the week.
"We didn't really know who was going to be [at the showcase] and what kind of schools," Sinclair said. "They talked to me after that and that was when things started rolling."
The fact that he'll be playing near the Canadian border also helped.
"It's a kind of a city that's a lot like Canada," Sinclair added. "I'll feel just like I'm at home there."
The Golden Griffins play in the Atlantic Hockey Conference along with 10 other teams. They are currently in first-place in the conference with an 8-4-1 overall record. The current roster has nine Canadians and one SJHL alumnus, as goaltender Simon Hofley played for Flin Flon from 2013-15.
When asked if it's nice to get the scholarship out of the way, Sinclair said nothing really changes. He has always just been focused on playing his best for the North Stars, no matter who is watching and regardless of having a scholarship secured or not.
"The focus has always been North Stars," Sinclair said. "It's nice that schools have been coming out. We obviously have a big focus this year and that's RBC [Cup]. That's what we're focusing on."
The North Stars are currently first in the Olympic Buildings Division with an 18-3-1 record. They are three points back of first place overall in the SJHL with five games in hand on Melfort.
Battlefords hosts the La Ronge Ice Wolves on Tuesday night at the Civic Centre.
On Twitter: @NathanKanter11
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