Deadline deal brings new goalie to Neepawa



Goaltender Brendan Benoit (33) is moving from the Portage Terriers to the Neepawa Natives. Photo property of and used with permission from Heather Jordan

By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

While the Neepawa Natives made just one deal at the MJHL trading deadline, it’s expected to have a significant impact on the team for years to come. On Wednesday, Jan. 10 the club traded the MJHL list rights to goaltender Miles Minor, as well as future considerations to the Portage Terriers in exchange for goaltender Brendan Benoit.

The 17-year-old Benoit has played seven games for Portage this season, accumulating a 1.23 goals against average (GAA) and .948 save percentage.

Natives general manager Miles Cathcart said Benoit is a player that has actually been on the Neepawa’s radar for quite some time.

“[Benoit] is a player we had an eye on during the MJHL Draft, back in 2015, but he was selected by Portage before we could get a shot at him,” noted Cathcart. “At the [trade] deadline, we were able to arrange a deal with the Terriers that we’re very pleased about.  We like [Benoit’s] game. he plays his angles very well and has quick reflexes. He should fit well with this young core of players we already have on the roster.” 

With the acquisition of Benoit, the Natives have released goaltender Jake MacLennan, who has played 11 games for Neepawa since joining the team in early November.