Although he isn’t technically eligible to play a full Western Hockey League season yet, underager Logan Barlage already has as much playoff experience as the entire Prince Albert Raiders club since the 2012-13 season.
After winning the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League MVP, Top Forward, Rookie of the Year and First Team All-Star awards with the Prince Albert Mintos in his 15-year-old season, Barlage appeared in 13 of the 14 post-season games with the Swift Current Broncos before their elimination on Monday.
Barlage was one of eight players from the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft that appeared in a playoff game this season. That includes Barlage’s Mintos’ teammate Braden Schneider, who had an assist in three appearances with the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Barlage’s 13 games was by far the most among fellow 2001-born players this postseason, with Lethbridge Hurricanes’ Dylan Cozens who has played six as of Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s pretty amazing. I’m not sure how many guys my age got to dress in games,” Barlage said. “Even just sitting on the bench and learning, and hearing what the coaches are saying, the leadership on the bench and learning from the captains just about what I have to do to be a better leader. It was a great experience for me, I sure learned a lot.”
Of course, Barlage hopes he could still be playing. Despite the Broncos having a 3-1 series lead over the regular season champion Regina Pats, the Pats were able to storm back and steal the series. The Broncos were eliminated on Monday after a 5-1 defeat in Game 7.
“I think we had ‘em by the neck, but we couldn’t finish them off,” Humboldt’s Barlage said. “But it was really cool to play against those type of hockey players and that awesome hockey team. I think we could have done’r for sure. I think we had a great group of guys, everybody was so tight. We deserved to win, but it ended like that. We just have to deal with it now, hopefully we can make a run for it again next year.”
Barlage of course did a ton of damage with the Mintos. Apart from his awards, he led the Mintos with 37 goals and 76 points in 44 games, with another five goals and eight points in the post-season. He also led the way for the Mintos at the Mac’s Midget AAA Tournament and was a key contributor for Team Saskatchewan at the Western Canada Under-16 Challenge Cup.
“I thought it was a great year. I had a lot of fun in P.A., we had a great year there, too. I wish we could have kept on going for the Telus Cup, but it just didn’t work out in the end,” Barlage said. “I had a lot of fun in P.A., it was really good for my development to help me get to Swift Current.
“I couldn’t have done it without P.A.”
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