BROOKS, AB (May 6, 2022) – The Brooks Bandits are happy to announce that AJHL All-Rookie Defenceman, Boston Buckberger will be returning to Brooks for the 2022-23 season.
Buckberger was drafted 11th overall in the USHL draft on Monday by the Lincoln Stars and has decided to decline their offer and remain in Brooks. Buckberger will follow several notable Bandit defencemen that spent their entire junior careers in Brooks. To mention a few, Cale Makar, Dennis Cesana, Brandon Scanlin, Zach Bookman and Tim Rego.
Buckberger, 18, is in his first year with the Bandits and finished with 31 points (13g, 18a) in 59 games during the regular season. Through 12 playoff games, he’s tallied 8 points (2g, 6a).
The Saskatoon, SK product will return to the Bandits as one of four new captains as Ethan Lund, Ryan McAllister, TJ Hughes and Devin Phillips will all move on to the NCAA.
“We are excited to continue our playoff season with limited distractions surrounding our group. Boston is a mature young man that has developed extremely well this season. His appreciation and loyalty to our organization is not surprising. We recruit quality people that want to be Bandits and develop with us until leaving for college hockey. Boston has made significant strides in his play this season which is a testament to his work ethic and desire,” said Bandits Head Coach and GM, Ryan Papaioannou.
Buckberger was recruited out of the Saskatoon U18 Blazers, and is committed to the University of Wisconsin (NCAA Division I).
“I am happy to show my teammates and coaches that I am loyal to our team and appreciate everything I have been given this season,” said Buckberger.
“The opportunity to return as part of the leadership group is important to me as I want to help the next group of young players with the organization. Being able to come back and follow in the footsteps of some great defenceman is also exciting to me and I take the responsibility seriously. I have felt welcomed, challenged and respected since arriving in Brooks in August. Our coaches have put time and effort into my game to help me become a better player and I am looking forward to working with them again next season.”
The Bandits lead the Spruce Grove Saints 3-1 and have a chance to win the AJHL Championship on Saturday night in Brooks at the Centennial Regional Arena. Tickets are on sale now at brooksbandits.ca.
Photo: Em Duncan