Allen, Gryzbowski named to all-rookie team

By Nathan Kanter
March 2, 2017 - 12:00pm

North Stars goaltender Joel Gryzbowski and forward Ben Allen have been named to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey league all-rookie team for the 2016-17 season.

Gryzbowski has split time in the crease with 19-year-old Taryn Kotchorek this season, playing in 25 games to Kotchorek’s 31. The 17-year-old’s numbers don’t just put him amongst rookie leaders this season – they put him amongst league leaders in multiple categories.

The Hafford native ranks second in the SJHL in goals-against-average at 1.73, third in save percentage at .932, tied for second in shutouts with five, and fifth in wins with 20. No rookie other than him has a save percentage about .916 or a G.A.A below 2.79.

Overall, he has a record of 20-4-1 this year.

Gryzbowski is the first goaltender since Humboldt’s Ryland Pashovitz in 2013-14 to post both a sub 2.00 G.A.A. and an above .930 save percentage in his rookie season. Pashovitz was one year older than Gryzbowski is now at the time.

For the month of September/October, Gryzbowski was named rookie of the month, after winning seven of his first eight starts.

Ben Allen has spent almost the entire season on the North Stars top line with Coby Downs and Layne Young. But he hasn’t just been ‘along for the ride,’ as his numbers have been incredibly consistent.

Allen is second among all rookies in points with 45 in 44 games. He hasn’t gone longer than two games without registering a point all season long. His 1.02 points-per-game rank just outside the top-20 of all players in the entire SJHL, rookie or not.

The 19-year-old from Allen, Texas, also has 12 power play points this season, tied for the third-most among rookies. He has had three separate four-game point streaks and a five-game point streak over the course of the year.

If there was an award for most-sportsmanlike, Allen would also probably be up for it, as he and teammate Connor Logan are the only players in the top-30 in scoring in the league to also have less than 20 penalty minutes. Allen has just five minors in 44 games, while Logan, who has 51 points this season, has taken just eight minor penalties all year long.

The North Stars wrap up their regular season this weekend with a home-and-home against Kindersley. They are on the road Friday and then at home on Saturday.


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