As a 17-year-old goaltender in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), Altona native, Matt Thiessen had a season many soon won’t forget.
Thiessen helped backstop his Steinbach Pistons to Turnbull Cup & ANAVET Cup Championships in 2017-18 as a rookie, before his incredible season was capped off in June with the NHL Draft where he was selected 192 overall by the Vancouver Canucks.
“Playing in the MJHL really prepared me for the next level because of how intense and competitive the league was,” Thiessen shared. “Playing every game was a battle and that is why I enjoyed it so much. Especially heading into the playoffs and having seven game series it gives it a pro feel and makes every game so important. Overall the league was great for me to develop on and off the ice, it also helps you get involved in the community.”
In between earning an invitation to the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) Top Prospects Game and being named an MJHL First-Team & Rookie-Team All-star, Thiessen committed to play NCAA Division I Hockey for the University of Maine Black Bears where he recently completed his freshman season.
Thiessen’s experience in the MJHL is also one he soon won’t forget as he credits the league for providing him the chance to develop in an elite environment.
“It’s a great opportunity and a great league that makes you a better player on the ice because of how competitive and fast the league is. It grows you in so many ways and you have so much fun with all the guys coming together and being part of a tight bond. Playing in the MJHL gives you opportunities to go anywhere, if its the WHL or college/university, this league is a great league for anyone,” Thiessen concluded.