The Okotoks Oilers of the Alberta Junior Hockey League are proud to announce that 2005-born forward Hunter Sawka (Cochrane, AB) has committed to attend and play for Western Michigan University.

Located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the WMU Broncos compete in the NCAA’s Division I National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), under third-year head coach Pat Ferschweiler.

Sawka, 18, is the 16th-highest scoring player in the AJHL this season, having tallied 34 points (12 goals, 22 assists) in 26 games, ranking him 13th in the league in assists as well. He is also the second-highest scoring ’05 player in the league.

“We’re thrilled as a staff for Hunter and the entire Sawka family,” said head coach and general manager Tyler Deis. “Hunter has grown by leaps and bounds since coming to our team last year. He’s always been a player who sees the ice extremely well, but as he’s grown he’s continued to develop into a guy who makes everyone around him better as well.

“Western Michigan is getting a player with great skill and the character to succeed at that level, and we couldn’t be happier for him.”

A 5’11”, 175lb winger, Sawka debuted for the Oilers as a 17-year old last season, recording 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 35 games. Previously, he was the second-highest scoring player on the Edge School’s U18 Prep team in the CSSHL, scoring 49 points (21 goals, 28 assists) in 32 games, making him the 13th-highest scoring player in the prep school ranks that year.

The third member of the Sawka family to play for the Oilers after his older brothers Tanner and Parker both played their careers for the organization, Sawka is also the second player on the current Okotoks roster committed to Western Michigan, with leading scorer Sam Huck (Calgary, AB) set to become a Bronco as well.

Sawka is the 9th Oiler on the current roster committed to an NCAA Division I school, joining:

  • Jack Silverberg (Dartmouth)
  • Dean Spak (Alaska Fairbanks)
  • Brody Maguire (RPI)
  • Kade Turner (Ferris State)
  • Rylan Brown (Michigan Tech)
  • Jagger Tapper (RPI)
  • Sam Huck (Western Michigan)
  • Connor Gourley (Arizona State)*

*committed prior to joining Okotoks