The Flin Flon Bombers announced not one, not two, but three new college hockey commitments Feb. 18. A trio of forwards will be playing next season in the Alberta college ranks.
Hayden Clayton, Chase Haygarth and Easton Haygarth will each take their talents to Red Deer College for the 2021-22 season, joining the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) team together.
The Haygarths, twin brothers from Lloydminster, Alta., joined the Bombers in 2019 as part of an offseason trade and made an immediate impact. Both brothers cleared 50 points in their first SJHL seasons, with Chase's 54 points narrowly beating Easton's 53. Both players wore assistant captain's "A"s for the Bombers during their two games this season.
Clayton joined the Bombers at last season's roster deadline, coming to the Bombers from the AJHL's Whitecourt Wolverines. Clayton had previously played eight games over two seasons with the WHL's Lethbridge Hurricanes. After coming to Flin Flon, Clayton racked up 12 points in 19 games. He played in both the team's games this season, tallying no points.
The three 2000-born players have played together for years, not only with the Bombers. The trio played together in Whitecourt for two seasons before coming to Flin Flon in separate deals. When Clayton was traded to Flin Flon last year, Bomber head coach and general manager Mike Reagan said his friendship with the Haygarth brothers was one reason why the team pursued him, along with his strong, physical game.
“Red Deer College is a great opportunity for me. I decided to commit there because they have plenty of opportunities for my education and they have a successful and winning hockey program," Clayton is quoted as saying in a Feb. 18 press release. The lanky forward plans on majoring criminal justice at the college.
The Haygarths plan to play again with their buddy at one of Alberta's top college programs. The Red Deer College Kings where the second best team in the ACAC last season with a 20-6-2 record through the regular season before playoffs were called off. The ACAC is full of former SJHL standouts - former Melfort Mustangs star Travis Mayan and Yorkton Terriers alumnus Jared Legien both played in the league last season.
Chase has not yet decided on a major, but Easton plans to study business administration.
"“Red Deer College has a great hockey program and I had some very good conversations with head coach, Trevor Keeper. It’s also an opportunity to play close to home. But most importantly, I get to play with two of my best friends for four more years, which I’m really excited about," Chase was quoted as saying in the Bombers' Feb. 18 news release.
“I owe a lot to Mike Reagan, Cole McCaig and the entire Bomber organization. They showed a lot of confidence in me ever since they traded for me. They gave me an opportunity to be an impact player. I’ll forever cherish my time as a Bomber and all the friendships and memories I have made," said Easton in the same release.