By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
Neepawa Natives’ star Jaret Smith has committed to the Nipissing University Lakers for the 2013-14 season after successful stint in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
Nipissing University is a public liberal arts university located in North Bay, Ontario, Canada, on a campus overlooking Lake Nipissing. The Lakers were 7-16-5 this season of the Ontario University Athletics Conference in Canadian Interuniversity Sport Hockey (CIS).
Jaret was acquired in October from the La Ronge Ice Wolves of the SJHL, and played a key role with the club since his arrival. The twenty-year-old forward had great things to say about the Natives’ organization in his one season with the franchise.
“I would like to thank my coaches, teammates and everyone in the organization for helping me further my hockey and academic future,” he said. “I will always cherish my time in Neepawa and I’m very fortunate to have played for such a supportive organization. I wouldn’t be here in this position without them and my parents.”
Smith, who hails from Fort McMurray Alberta, was an important member of the Natives this season playing a key role in the success of the team’s power play. He also contributed on the score sheet accumulating 31 points in 44 games this season.
“Jaret is a very dedicated hockey player,” said Myles Cathcart, general manager of the Natives. “He has a quality skill set which will help him at the the next level. He was involved within the the community and wanted to play at the next level. He worked very hard on and off the ice with our staff to attain his goal of educational opportunities through hockey.
“The Neepawa Natives would like to congratulate him on taking advantage of the opportunity and wish him the best of luck in the future.”