A familiar face and fan-favourite forward makes his return to the Innovation Credit Union iPlex tonight.
Former Swift Current Bronco Kaden Elder will suit up in the visitors locker room at the iPlex for the first time in over four years, as his Calgary Hitmen stroll into the southwest tonight, fresh off a 5-2 road win over the Regina Pats on Tuesday.
Elder last sat on the away bench November 16, 2014, when he was a member of the Seattle Thunderbirds in his 16-year-old season.
His Broncos tenure spanned 226 total games, spread between the regular season, playoffs, and Memorial Cup. He recorded 39 goals and 74 total points over that time.
"My experience with Swift Current was unbelievable," Elder had said, before the Broncos and Hitmen faced off in their first and only meeting so far this season, back on December 7.
"Getting traded there when I was 17, I had a good opportunity to start. I kind of accepted my role," he said. "I became a lot more important as the years went on, just based on how I worked and paid attention to details. They gave me the chance, and I did my best to use it to my advantage. It definitely helped me - it helped me grow as a player going to Swift Current."
Elder was of course able to hoist the Ed Chynoweth Cup this past spring as the Broncos earned their first WHL Championship in 25 years.
"Just that chemistry and positive attitude always in the dressing room," Elder said of what made last year's team so special.
"We had a lot of fun as a team, we bonded really well, and the chemistry was really good. All the guys hung out all the time, and that definitely built a strong connection between our team. We just learned to work hard, and never give up. Just kind of stay positive and stick through all the grind."
Elder played just two games with the Broncos this season, before getting dealt to the Hitmen for a 2019 third-round bantam draft pick in late September.
"It was obviously tough, I had a lot of really good friends on Swift Current, and obviously the transition was hard for me, just because I'd been there for so long," he said. "I know it's a business, and I just accepted my role, and came back here, made the best of it, and it was definitely awesome for me to get over here, and experience all this with a good team."
The Saskatoon-born overager currently finds himself in the midst of a career year in his final Major Junior season.
Prior to this season, Elder's career high was 32 points, which he racked up over 67 regular season games last year in Swift.
This season, Elder has 18 goals and 38 points spread over 48 games, a mark good for fifth on the balanced Hitmen roster.
Catch all of the action in Elder's return live on The Eagle 94.1, as the Broncos and Hitmen face off shortly after 7 p.m. The Robertson Family Group Broncos Hockey pregame show gets underway at 6:30.