For the 11th top sports story of 2020, the Warriors looked to the future after a disappointing regular season.
The Warriors drafted Saskatoon Contacts centre Brayden Yager third overall in the Western Hockey League bantam draft in April.
The Warriors were in the draft lottery and fell down a spot from second overall when Regina won, selecting super-prospect Connor Bedard - the first player to receive full exceptional status.
Yager, from Dundurn, scored 18 goals and 24 assists in 44 games with the Contacts as a rare 14-year-old playing AAA midget this year. He had three assists in four games with the Contacts at the Macs Midget tournament as well.
“What drove us to pick Brayden is his speed, hockey IQ, skill level, and compete. Brayden is a perfect example of a 200-foot player who can really shoot the puck and can make plays with the puck,” said Warriors Assistant General Manager Jason Ripplinger in a media release right after the draft's first round. “Brayden received exceptional status last year to play Midget AAA, and, as a 14-year-old he almost scored 20 goals and was just shy of averaging a point per game. We expect him to come into the lineup and contribute.”
The season before last, he scored 44 goals and 59 assists in 31 games in bantam AA with Martensville.
Yager would within days sign a standard players agreement with the Warriors.
“Brayden’s talent, along with his compete, will, and determination in his game, make him a special young player. We are very pleased that Brayden and his parents Cam and Maureen have chosen the Moose Jaw Warriors and the WHL to pursue his hockey and academic goals,” Warriors general manager Alan Millar said in a media release in April.