Moose Jaw U18 AAA Warriors captain Atley Calvert has had a productive start to the season.

Calvert picked up three assists for the Warriors in their 7-1 season opener Sunday against Yorkton.

Calvert said he enjoys playing with rookie Riley Niven, who scored a pair in the game that Calvert assisted on.

“I’ve known (Niven) growing up,” Calvert said. “When he was over in Winnipeg, we played against each other. I’ve always liked competing against him. He just plays hard and it’s easy to play with him because he’s always competing.”

Niven, from Wawota, joined the Warriors after three seasons with the Rink Hockey Academy in Winnipeg. While with Winnipeg, he played on the same team as 2021 potential first-round pick Carson Lambos, WHL Warrior first-round pick Eric Alarie and U18AAA goaltender Jaxson Taupert.

Calvert, 17, lit up the U18AAA league last season with 23 goals and 23 assists in 39 regular-season games, in his first season in the league. He took it to another level in the playoffs, scoring eight goals and two assists in six games – where the Warriors were undefeated – before the season was called due to COVID.

Calvert also moonlighted with the WHL’s Warriors, scoring a goal and two assists in 13 regular-season games in his major junior debut. He's expected to at least make a strong case to stay with the WHL club once their season starts in January. 

After the season-opening dominating performance at times by his line, he talked about what leadership means to him.

“I just tried to do everything right,” he said. “Showing the young guys or the guys who are first-year guys the right way, and always giving 110 percent.”

The Warriors' next action is Friday at Mosaic Place against the Notre Dame Hounds.