(Marc Smith/DiscoverMooseJaw) Going into the 2018-19 season, nobody would have predicted Tristin Langan to breakout the way that he did for the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Seasons like that don’t come along too often, but can the Warriors use that model heading into next season? Moose Jaw has a few veteran players that could be primed to breakout next season with the right opportunity.
The Warriors will need them to as well with Langan graduating after scoring 53 goals and 113 points this past season.
Luke Ormsby, Carson Denomie and Keenan Taphorn were all acquired at different points during this past season, they all bring something different to the table and all had moments where they showed flashes of what is possible.
“I fought hard and tried to make the best case that I could… I have a big offseason planned and I have great trainers down in Arizona that will help me fulfil my goals,” said Ormsby, who posted five goals and 14 points in 40 games with the Warriors.
Ormsby is on his third WHL team, but he felt like he found a home in Moose Jaw and that comfortability helped him on the ice.
“On a day after practice, I was frustrated with myself just looking for an opportunity in Everett and I remember I phoned my dad and he said, ‘The next opportunity that comes, you’ve just got to make the best of it’, and an hour later, I got a phone call that I was traded to Moose Jaw,” he said.
“The moment I got here, everyone was just truly amazing from the teammates to the coaching staff, everyone just welcomed me right in and I really enjoyed my time here.”
Denomie and Taphorn are similar cases of players that received more opportunity after coming to Moose Jaw and showed signs of what could come.
Denomie led the Warriors in playoff scoring with two goals and four points in their four-game series against the Saskatoon Blades. The Regina product had eight goals and 17 points in 67 games during the regular season. Six of those goals came over the final 16 games of the season.
“I really think I found my stride in Moose Jaw and it’s just been great, I was getting better and better every game,” said Denomie.
Denomie will be heading into his 19-year-old season in the WHL in 2019-20 and he feels that he’s made some good strides to take his game to the next level.
“I took advantage of [the opportunities] most of the time and it will be really exciting next year,” said Denomie.
“I just need to make some harder and smarter plays sometimes, being able to see the ice better and what kind of plays I have to make.”
Taphorn came to Moose Jaw along with his twin brother Kaeden early in the season and they both settled into their roles with the team.
Keenan brings a more offensive game to the table and he showed signs of taking off throughout the year, posting a career-high 15 goals, 14 with Moose Jaw, and 26 points in 67 games.
“Ever since Kaeden and I were traded here, it’s been an awesome time, it’s a world-class organization and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” he said.
“Here I had a bigger role than I did in Kootenay, so the year went pretty well, I stepped it up and I’m looking forward to having a good offseason and stepping it up even more next season.”
Taphorn feels like he learned a lot about playing in the Warriors’ system and can work on that over the offseason.
“I set the bar for next year and I’m looking forward to trying to have a bigger role on the team.”