The Battlefords North Stars added a veteran to their lineup with a 20-year-old Alberta born forward.
The North Stars acquired forward Keaton Holinaty from the Drumheller Dragons of the AJHL on Monday, June 27 in exchange for future considerations. In two seasons in the Drumheller valley with the Dragons, the Hardisty, Alta. product scored 23 points in 98 games. He also added seven points in 12 playoff games.
North Stars head coach and general manager Kevin Hasselberg expects a big year from the veteran Holinaty.
"He's a big power forward. He has skill and he's utilized that skill," Hasselberg said. "We'd like to see him come to our program with a fresh start and the ability to advance himself and achieve his own personal goals and help our team win."
Holinaty played one season of bantam, two seasons of midget and eight games of Junior B in Wainright, Alta. and attended a North Stars camp prior to joining Drumheller.
Hasselberg said they had an eye on Holinaty and the deal made sense for a North Star team looking to fill a forward spot and a Dragon team looking to get younger.
"Being 20 years old, Keaton wasn't fitting into their (Drumheller's) long term plans. Being that we're a veteran hockey team looking to add some veteran pieces to our front end, he met the criteria we were looking for with the size and obviously the ability to manage pucks and use his body down low," Hasselberg said.
Hasselberg added the team likes to give incoming 20-year-olds the benefit of the doubt and the onus is on Holinaty's to determine his role.
"He's going to paint a picture of where he feels he belongs and what his strengths are and we're going to work with him to make sure that at the end of the day, he's contributing to the hockey team, he feels good about his contributions and he's doing as much as he can to advance his career," Hasselberg said.
Holinaty is the seventh 20-year-old North Star on the roster, joining goaltender Ryan Rewerts, defenceman Kendall Fransoo and forwards Coby Downs, Logan Nachtegaele, Reed Delainey, and recently acquired Connor Logan as players in the last year of their Junior A careers.
Matt Kelly is battlefordsNOW's town municipal affairs and community reporter. He can be reached at [email protected]. Concerns regarding this story can be addressed to News Director Geoff Smith at 306-446-6397.
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