DeLange to Play Junior A League Hockey in Canada


Sam Schmid, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

To make the jump from being a high school athlete to a college or professional athlete is a jump that most can’t make.

According to the NCAA, only a mere 4.8% of high school hockey players go on to play Division 1 college hockey, but one senior at Notre Dame Academy, in the coming years, will test those probabilities.

Josh DeLange, a senior standout this season, will be playing for Tier 2 Battleford North Stars in the Saskatchewan Junior “A” Hockey League in hopes to go on to play in the NCAA.

“My goal is to play in the NCAA,” said DeLange, who admits he’s only been to Canada for fishing, but looks forward “to getting out of my comfort zone.”

“The team coach contacted me and offered me a player card, and although junior hockey players don’t get a salary, all you need is paid by the team,” explained the senior.

The North Stars were founded in 1973 as the Battleford Barons and are located in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada.

“I’m thankful for where I am,” said DeLange, “and where I am is because of my parents, my coach and my teammates.”

Evidently the feeling is reciprocal.

“He [Josh] isn’t getting paid to play for the North Stars, which might sound dumb to some, but that ensures that he still has college eligibility, so it’s basically a stepping stone to college hockey,” said Sam Peterman, a teammate to DeLange.

A stepping stone is an understatement, with the Canadian organization breeding many NHL stars, like Wade Belak and Steve Konowalchuk.

There are also dozens of players in the North Stars history to go on to play college hockey with most recently being MacGregor Sinclair in 2016 at Canisius College.

“It’s a great opportunity for Josh, and it’s a great organization too,” said Sawyer Scholl, a teammate of DeLange’s.

DeLange’s senior season at Notre Dame was nothing short of spectacular.

In 23 games, DeLange scored 14 goals and also contributed to 17 assists, meaning statistically, he had over a 73% chance of either scoring or assisting in every one of his games this season.

DeLange, by his effort throughout the whole 2019-2020 hockey season, played a key role in helping the Tritons have a 21-1-1 record as state runner-ups. 

“Without Josh, I don’t think we could finish at a place where we did.  He’s a guy you know you can rely on, and he’s a great guy off the ice too,” said Peterman.