Kimberley Dynamiters forward Braiden Koran has committed to the Humboldt Broncos for the 2019/20 season.
Koran, 17, says moving up to Jr. A with the Broncos will be an exciting step in his hockey career.
“It’s great. It should be an awesome experience to go play in Humboldt,” he said.
He wanted to commit to the Broncos because of the long history. The team is part of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and was established in 1970. The Broncos are the most successful team in SJHL history, winning the league championship 10 times.
“It’s a level up of hockey and it should be good to go over there,” said Koran. “I haven’t gone there yet, but the coaches and the player director called me every day and made sure how I was doing. It really made me feel welcome.”
This will be the first time that Koran will be leaving the area for hockey, and it’s something he is really looking forward to.
“It should be a fun experience to get to billet out and live with someone else, and get out in the world,” he said.
The Broncos finished the 2018/19 year with a 35-19-3-1 record. Broncos head coach and general manager Scott Barney said Koran was recognized by many scouts early on.
“He was recognized as being a great asset for us here with our team,” he said. “We got a lot of new faces coming in and he’s still pretty young. We are hoping he can be a big part of our team here for the next two-three years going forward.”
Barney notes many people describe Koran’s character as an asset to any team, and he was recommended by not only scouts but former players.
“He can fit a bunch of different roles, shoots the puck well, and is hard to play against. The biggest thing I have heard is he has a great character, which is big for us here in our organization,” he said.
Last year was Koran’s rookie year with the Kimberley Dynamiters. He finished with nine goals and 22 assists for 31 points and 89 penalty minutes in 39 regular season games.
“It was great,” he said about his year with the Dynamiters. “We had a super successful year and it was a great group of guys to be around and a great coaching staff. Everything ran smoothly.”
He adds it will be bittersweet leaving the team.
“I’m going to miss the guys, and I hope the best for them. I’m sure they will do great again, but I feel like I need to move up to Junior A is for the best,” he said.
Having coached Koran for the year, Dynamiters head coach Derek Stuart describes him as being a great skater and able to use his body to his advantage.
“He’s very powerful, thick and strong. He’s probably one of the best body checkers I’ve seen play junior hockey in my years of coaching. I think those along with the potential to put up some offensive numbers as he creates room for himself, but also has some skill too. He’s very physical and not afraid to throw his weight around,” he said.
Stuart said he’s very proud to see what Koran has been able to achieve as he strives to continue to improve on his game.
“To see players move on, it makes us proud and also it’s special to Braiden’s case. He’s showing a lot of determination and a lot of courage moving a couple of provinces over, where a lot of guys I’ve come across wouldn’t do that,” he said.
Koran laced up his skates for the first time 14 years ago, as hockey has always been the number one for Koran.
“The intensity of the game, I love the energy and the hype around it. Hockey has always been my number one sport and I just love the game,” he said.
“I always knew I wanted to go big in hockey. Ever since I was born I wanted to play in the NHL and just go as far as I can with the game.”
Koran will have a busy summer as he prepares to get in the best shape he can. He says he will be working out with a personal trainer, and in August he will be leaving to go to Humboldt. But, when he pulls on the yellow and green jersey for the first time, he says it will mean a lot.
“It’s going to be another step in a great direction for me to reach my end goal. It will be super awesome,” he said.