Off-season commitments to the Neepawa Natives



Submitted release

The Neepawa Press

The Neepawa Natives have been busy in the off-season, shaping the roster for the upcoming year. The Junior ‘A’ hockey club recently signed three players for the 2017-18 MJHL season, who should help compliment a returning roster. Those additions include Benoit Mowbray of St. Lazare and Lewis Nefrich and Troy Earl, both from Winnipeg.

Mowbray played last season with the Yellowhead Midget Chiefs and accumulated 36 points over a span of 44 games. Neepawa Natives general manager Myles Cathcart noted that the team has kept a close eye on the 18-year-old forward over the past few years and are impressed with how he has developed his game.

“Mowbray is truly a complete hockey player and competes in all three zones,” stated Cathcart. “We have watched Benoit for many years and each time we watched him play, he stood out.  His work ethic provides energy which fuels the team energy.  He possesses leadership qualities, character and commitment to the game of hockey. He will quickly become a fan favourite.”

Lewis Negrich played for the Winnipeg Thrashers and had 43 point in 44 games. Cathcart said  that Negrich is a highly skilled centre with great speed. 

“He has a great shot and sees the ice very well. Centres are important players on a team and when the organization can add them to the roster, it just makes the team deeper,” explained Cathcart. “Negrich possesses all the qualities of leadership and team play that is important when building a team. Chemistry are extremely important within a room and Lewis will be a welcome addition to the dressing room.”

As for Troy Earl, the former Winnipeg Wild defensemen had a 25 point season in 2016-17. Cathcart added that Earl possesses a very good skill set.  

“[Earl] is able to close gaps quickly, as he is a good skater. He is coming from a very good hockey program, so he is well coached and understands the game. This is quality young man who will add depth to the team’s defensive core for the upcoming season,” Cathcart stated.

Next up for the Neepawa Natives will be the team’s annual summer prospects camp in Brandon at the Sportsplex. That event is scheduled for early July.