THE CAPTAINS: MARKHAM’S TEAM LEADER IS FIFTH HYMAN BROTHER TO PLAY IN THE OJ

Ontario Junior Hockey League resident writer Ron Valentine is profiling the 2023-24 team captains acrossThe OJ. (Photo by Amy Deroche  / OJHL Images)

BY RON VALENTINE

Shane Hyman, in his final year of junior hockey eligibility, returns for his third season as captain of the OJHL’s East Conference Markham Royals. 

The Royals opened the regular season last weekend with a 3-3 tie with the Leamington Flyers and a 7-4 win over the North York Rangers. They travel to Oakville on Saturday.

Shane is coming off a 36-point campaign in which his club finished in sixth place in the 10-team North/West. 

He is the fifth Hyman brother to play in the league, following: Zach, now with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers; Spencer, the club’s Asst GM/coach: Oliver, skills development coach; and Cooper, now a lawyer, who all suited up in Hamilton Red Wings’ uniforms. 

The Wings moved to Markham ahead of the 2015-16 season. Shane made his OJHL debut in 2019-20. He scored his first goal Oct 13 against the St. Michael’s Buzzers. 

Assisting Shane this season will be hometown boy Owen Halloran, who wore an ‘A’ last year, and Ryan Forberg, with one more to be appointed. Halloran had 15 goals and 30 points last season. Forberg, a former Toronto Patriot, had 25 goals and 63 points. 

Head coach Mike Galati on Shane: “He looks to be on his way to a huge breakout season. He has put on some size and is much stronger. We will, once again, look to him to be our leader on and off the ice. I’m looking forward to seeing him develop further as a player and as a captain.”

Shane looks back.

“Last season was a tough one for us. We were very inconsistent at times, even though we had a very good team on paper. Injuries to key players hurt us, too, and we are rarely able to field our full lineup. We did finish over .500 but the OJHL’s leading goal scorer Jack Richard and the Burlington Cougars defeated us in the playoffs. We did our best but they were too much for us. I was not upset by our performances but now we have a chance to regroup and restart.”

The season upcoming?

“We have made some very good signings over the off-season and we are certainly going to be a deeper team than we were last year. We have several ex-Toronto Patriots joining us. Goalies Chris Quizi and Robert Andreakos, blueliner Ray Hou and forwards Ashton Miwa and Chris Engelbert (47 points last season). Also we have Jake Barkley from Caledon (37 points) and two former Blind River Beavers in forward Matthew Green and defenceman Nicholas Brady, along with returning players and some good rookies. It looks like a good mix, so far. We will need that offence to replace Mackay Hayes who was our leading scorer last season with 81 points. He’s at Robert Morris University this Fall.”

On a personal basis.

“I have not set any goals for myself, I don’t do that, but I was in the gym five days a week throughout the summer and also was skating an average of four or five times a week. I feel comfortable going into my last season but know that it’s time to walk the walk not talk the talk. I can lead by example but now I have the experience to be able to make myself heard when I have to. Accountability is the key to success. Whatever role a player is given by the coaching staff, they have to stick to that and then we can be sure of an improvement from the prior year.”

Given a break from injuries this time around, Shane and his on-ice leadership group will have lots of ammunition to make a serious challenge in the East conference this season. 

Follow Ron Valentine on X @ronandlynda

 

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