Jayson Argue made quite the impression in the MJHL. The rookie goaltender for the Swan Valley Stampeders was named the league’s most outstanding player, was a first-team all-star and named rookie of the year honours.
He then made the very difficult decision to leave the MJ to play in the BCJHL. These days the product of the Valley is enjoying his time in college hockey with Bentley University.
Argue, now 21 years old, was recently chosen as an Atlantic Hockey Co-Rookie of the Week and followed that up with the Goaltender of the Week the next week. He posted a 2.02 GAA and a .926 save percentage to earn the first honour.
But before he won the award, Argue had to recover from an injured knee, though he didn’t get hurt in some great hockey collision.
“I was injured for the first two months (of the season),” said Argue. “It was an off-ice injury. I have a bad knee and I was walking down the stairs and it buckled on me.
“I had to have some surgery and they cleaned out some cartilage.”
As a 20-year-old, Argue nearly won a second league MVP award, finishing as a runner up in the BCHL and still being named to the first all-star team.
And now he’s in the college ranks and still earning honours.
“In my first week back I got rookie of the week, and in the second week I got goalie of the week – it was a nice way to come back,” he said.
Argue has learned quickly about the differences from junior A hockey and NCAA hockey – but as his recent awards show, he’s been a quick adapter.
“The competition is a few steps above what I was playing before – you’re playing against men,” said Argue. “I’m the youngest guy here at 21, and you’re playing against guys who are 25 years old.
“There’s a lot more strength, the shots are harder, the systems are smoother, and there are no lapses, and if you do lapse, the next day you won’t be playing.”
Argue added it’s a very structured hockey environment focused on the team winning, which is great from a goaltender’s perspective.
“It’s very unselfish hockey – it’s all about the team,” he added. “I think it makes you a better person as well.”
For example, Argue notes the team is structured around team defense, and said players focus on clearing guys from in front of the net and blocking shots.
Then there’s adjusting to the daily grind of being a college athlete – and the realization that there isn’t much free time.
“College is a lot more time consuming – in junior there’s a lot more free time and you’re with the guys more, but here I have class from 8 a.m. until 12 noon, and then straight to the rink for practice at 1 p.m. until about 3:30 p.m.,” said Argue. “And then you leave the rink and you have some night classes.
“It’s a big change, and when you’re done your classes, you have homework,”
he added. “The days are pretty full but I like it.”
Argue said being out of school for three years made getting back to school interesting, but his hard work has already paid off in his first semester.
“And a lot of what I’m studying has to do with American things, so that’s a little different coming from small-town Manitoba,” he said. “I just wrapped up my finals today, and my grade point average is higher than what I had in high school, so I’m pretty happy about that.”
Argue also noted his mother Fran, a teacher in the Valley, was an invaluable source for him as he adjusted back into life as a student. No doubt his father, Dale’s sense of humor has rubbed off on the fun loving netminder.
For those who don’t know where Bentley University is, it’s located in Waltham, Mass, very close to Boston. It’s considered a Division Two school for NCAA sports, with men’s hockey being the exception – it competes in Division One against all the top teams in America.
Most of Bentley’s games are on the east coast, but Argue said he’s hopeful they will make the trip west to a school such as UND next year, which would probably be the closest school to the Manitoba.
“In our out-of-conference games this year we didn’t play UND but I’m hoping next year,” said Argue. “I’m hoping we get there one day because I’m pretty sure I’d have a lot of friends and family in the rink.”
Famous alumni from Bentley University includes Joaquin Bacardi (president of the line of drinks that shares his last name) and former Tonight Show host Jay Leno.