Yorkton native Tanner LeSann didn’t expect to stay in Swift Current longer than three days when he received an invite to the Broncos’ training camp.
“When I left for Swift Current I remember telling my friends I’d be back that week,” says LeSann. “I only packed enough clothes for three days. I didn’t think I had much of a shot to make the team.”
Five months later, LeSann is still a member of the Western Hockey League’s Broncos.
“It is great here,” says LeSann, who has scored four goals and seven points in 40 games in Swift Current. “I never would have thought I’d make the team and dodge all of the cuts.”
Broncos GM- head coach Mark Lamb wasn’t surprised that LeSann made his squad; however, he didn’t see it coming.
“He came in on a tryout basis, so I didn’t know much about him,” says Lamb. “I wasn’t that familiar with how he played. It happens where players will make teams just on a tryout, but it doesn’t happen that often. I wouldn’t say I was shocked when I penciled him in. I just couldn’t have predicted it.”
LeSann made a name for himself in the Yorkton sports scene last year with the Harvest in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. He potted 17 goals and 42 points in 40 games, while racking up 100 minutes in the sin bin.
“I think my head coach with the Harvest, Jeff Odgers, really helped me improve on a lot of areas in my game,” says LeSann. “He worked with me a lot and really made an impact on me.”
The 6-foot, 158-pound centre’s edgy style is one of the major reasons why he cracked Swift Current’s roster.
“I think my physical style, fighting, and just sticking up for teammates definitely played a big role in the Broncos’ decision to keep me here,” says LeSann. “In the camp I showed I play hard and am willing to drop the gloves. I think they must have taken notice.”
Lamb has been impressed with the 17-year-old’s meat-and-potatoes style of play throughout the first half of his rookie season.
“Tanner has been a good two-way forward for us,” says Lamb. “He works hard and isn’t afraid to get in the dirty areas.”
LeSann hasn’t set any personal goals for the latter half of the season. He is eying a Broncos’ playoff spot, though.
“I really hope we can make the playoffs,” says LeSann on the 21-20-3-2 Broncos. “We got a great group of guys here. That’s the only thing I’m going to focus on in the second half.”