Pineshish Whiteduck says he is looking forward to the next chapter in his hockey career. It is a turning of a page that is poised to have him combine hockey and education at Sault College effective the 2022-2023 semester season.
“This is a good opportunity for me to continue to play hockey and get a college education along with that,” Whiteduck relayed to Hockey News North. “I am looking forward to it.
The 21-year old Whiteduck said he wanted to play hockey and attend school at Sault College because of the good reputation that it has.
“I want to play for a good hockey team and go to a good school,” said Whiteduck, who has been accepted into the Business program at Sault College and will play for head coach Mike Hall and the Cougars. “I have heard many good things about Sault College. I also know a few people (in the Sault) and I got to see it and it is a really nice, beautiful town.”
An energetic, speedster with prior experience in both the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League and Superior International Jr. Hockey League, Whiteduck was a travelling skater during the 2021-2022 season.
Whiteduck spent the 2021-2022 campaign with the Sudbury Cubs and Espanola Express of the NOJHL and the Dryden Ice Dogs of the SIJHL. He finished up in Dryden and helped the Ice Dogs to a third place finish during the regular season and through two rounds of the playoffs.
Whiteduck totalled seven goals, 16 assists, 23 points in 37 games during his time over parts of two seasons in the NOJHL. In 28 SIJHL games, regular season and playoffs included — where he was used as a shutdown forward in Dryden by Ice Dogs head coach Kurt Walsten — Whiteduck netted two goals, seven assists, nine points. He said he “really liked” living in Dryden and playing for Walsten.
“He is a good coach who expects a lot from his players. He loves to win,” Whiteduck said of the hard-boiled Walsten. “It was great experience playing for Kurt in Dryden with the team having a good playoff. And I had a great billet family which made it even better.
“As for the hockey I like to win. We won a lot of our games in Dryden and got to the semi finals. I would like to win a championship at Sault College,” Whiteduck added.
As for how he ended up with a commitment to Sault College come the fall of this year, the 6 foot, 190 pound Whiteduck attended the school’s recent spring tryout camp and totally impressed Cougars head scout and recruiter Charly Murray.
“His speed and his motor really stood out,” Murray told Hockey News North. “He drove nine and a half hours from his home (in Maniwaki, Quebec) to get here and once he got on the ice he never took his foot off the gas. His energy and speed that he showed were just off the charts. We couldn’t wait to sign him. He is all signed up to play hockey and go to school.
“We are really excited for young Mr. Whiteduck and what he will bring to Sault College as a student athlete,” Murray added. “I had a chance to not only watch Pineshish play at our tryout camp but I got to meet him and talk to him in person. It is very obvious that not only can he play with a high compete level but that he is a very nice young man. All of our reports on Pineshish speak very highly of him as a young man of very good character.”
In all, 38 skaters and nine goalies took part at the recent Sault College tryout camp, said Murray.
“We signed nine players, including Whiteduck and a few of our returning local forwards such as Caleb Wood, Noah Boman and Parker Morgan,” Murray added.
Wood, Boman and Morgan all have previous experience in the NOJHL with the Soo Thunderbirds. Wood also played for the Michigan Soo Eagles.
Sault College plays at the Division 2 level of the American Collegiate Hockey Association. The Cougars are the only Canadian men’s team in the entire ACHA, which includes Division 1, 2 and 3.