Top ‘Klassen’ starts P.A. tourney with win

By Jeff D'Andrea
December 7, 2017 - 5:00pm

There’s a reason why Western Elite Hockey Prospects has Gabe Klassen as the top ranked forward in Saskatchewan.

Klassen is the captain of the Prince Albert Venice House Pirates, who are tied for the top spot in the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League with the Swift Current Kabos Raiders.

The 14-year-old has been as consistent as they come in terms of point production. He’s registered at least a point in all the 15 games he’s played this year and is tied for the league in goals with 25, and second in points with 39.

Not only that, but he’s scored at least one goal in every game except two. Klassen has three hat tricks and nine multi-goal contests. Klassen kept up his production today with an assist in a 5-3 victory over the Regina Pat Blues to kick off their Bantam AA Tournament.

“He’s our leader, he definitely sets the pace for our game. When he’s going, we’re going,” Pirates head coach Shawn Phaneuf said. “He always works hard on the ice, off the ice, and practices. He sets the tone by example.”

The second year of bantam can mount pressure on a 14-year-old. If Klassen is feeling the draft pressure coming, he isn’t showing it.

“I just want to keep trying my best all the way through and get drafted decently, and just keep going,” Klassen said.

Although he’s putting up elite numbers, Klassen certainly isn’t doing it by himself. He centres one of the best, if not the top forward line in the SBAAHL between Ashton Ferster and Logan Cox.

Ferster has 13 goals and 29 points in 15 contests this year. Cox has eight goals and 22 points in 13 games.

“It’s good playing with my linemates Ferster and Cox, they’ve helped me out lots,” Klassen said. “I’m just able to find the open ice and bury it when I get my chance.”

“They’ve been dominant in every game we’ve played this year,” Phaneuf added. “They’ve got a great mix of skill, hockey sense and physicality. Logan Cox makes a lot of room for those guys. He’s very physical, fast and strong on his skates. The other team knows when he’s on the ice.

“Ashton Ferster has a very high hockey IQ, protects the puck extremely well. In tight, he puts the pucks behind the goalies and in the net.”

Pirates 5 Blues 3

The Pirates kicked off the Bantam AA Showcase Tournament Thursday with a victory over the Regina Pat Blues. Cox had a pair of goals in the victory. Nathan Flodell, Kayden Clarke and Josh LaClaire also scored for the Pirates.

The Pirates got off to a 3-0 start in the first period and were able to see the game out from there, despite a decent second period push from the Blues. 

The Pirates take on the Winnipeg Warriors tonight at 8:30 at the Art Hauser Centre.


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On Twitter: @jeff_paNOW

Pirates improve to 2-0 at Bantam AA Tournament

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