Photo: Hickling Images
After spending two memorable seasons in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) between Dauphin and Steinbach, Riese Gaber’s talents took him south of the border, where he suited up with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League (USHL).
Reflecting back on his two years spent in the MJHL, the Gilbert Plains, Manitoba native shared just how vital of a role the league played in his development as a player.
“I think the league was huge for me as it’s where I really found my success and took off as a player,” Gaber said from his family home. “I think the opportunities I got from playing in the league were very important and a huge reason why I am where I am today because of the exposure it gave me, allowing people to watch and get a good look at me.”
“The MJHL also allowed me to play a big role in each of my first two seasons which gave me the confidence to excel at that level and the next.”
And play a big role he did. Gaber was a key contributor in the Steinbach Pistons 2017-18 run to the Turnbull Memorial Trophy and Anavet Cup before he and his Pistons teammates fell short at the national championship.
In his first year in the league (2016-17), Gaber was named to the MJHL All-Rookie team. Other opportunities Gaber spoke about included the 2017-18 Canadian Junior Hockey League Top Prospects Game and two stints with Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge where he and his fellow Canadians took home gold in 2017-18.
“The league is a great spot to get recognized and for high-end exposure. I would say to take everything in and really enjoy the process because the years are some of the best of your life and it really flies by.”
“If you’re serious about moving on to the next level after junior, always put in the work and you will be rewarded. The MJHL is a great spot for an opportunity for development,” Gaber finished.
The 20-year-old is set to attend and play NCAA Division I hockey for the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks this coming fall.