The Bombers have added some major junior firepower to this season’s roster, picking up former WHL forward Zach Huber’s rights for the year.
Hailing from Millarville, Alta. by way of Grandora, Sask., Huber spent the last three seasons with teams in the WHL - first with the Calgary Hitmen, then with the Saskatoon Blades. Huber was never a lights-out scorer in western Canada’s top junior league - he hit new heights last year in Saskatoon, when he scored 15 goals and 23 points in 61 games. The Blades cut Huber in late July because the team was over the CHL’s cap of three overaged players per game. Previously in his career, Huber captained the Rocky Mountain Raiders bantam AAA team to a provincial title in Alberta and a spot in a western Canadian final.
“We are very excited to announce the signing of Zach. We saw the impact Cole Rafuse had on our team last year and we feel Huber will have the same. He's tough to play against, has a great shot and plays like a Bomber,” said Bombers head coach and general manager Mike Reagan in a statement by the team Sept. 12.
The Bombers have had success in picking up major junior cast-offs in recent years. Last year saw both of the team’s best players - forwards Rafuse and Alec Malo - join the club after spending seasons in the QMJHL. Former goalscoring phenom Brandson Hein came to Flin Flon after being cut by the WHL’s Everett Silvertips, while defenceman Tyler Higgins and goalie Gabriel Waked both joined the Bombers after lengthy QMJHL careers and saw some success.
However, the team has seen a few misses when picking from the CHL. These include former defenceman Kurtis Rutledge, who came to Flin Flon in 2017, played in 12 games, then went back home to Alberta requesting a trade, as well as goalie Kyle Jessiman, who joined the Bombers from the QMJHL last season, played five games and headed back east, having put up a .888 save percentage in that time.
Huber’s acquisition puts the Bombers in a sticky wicket with their overaged players. As of Sept. 13, the team will now have nine 2000-born players on the roster, pending any further roster moves - defenders Ryder Richmond and Jaxon White and forwards Hayden Clayton, Matt Flodell, Billy Klymchuk, Chase and Easton Haygarth, Huber and Reid Robertson. SJHL clubs are only allowed to play eight overaged players per game.