Good news came for Home Hardware Midget AAA Legionnaires captain Lucas Ochitwa earlier this week, when it was announced the defenceman would be continuing his career in the SJHL next season.
The product of Wadena will be playing just an hour and a half from home, when he suits up in the blue and green of the Melfort Mustangs.
"It's fantastic - nice and close to home, it's a great organization, love the guys there. It's definitely a good fit for me," said Ochitwa.
The defenceman suited up in training camp, along with one game this season with the Mustangs, and it's an atmosphere he's looking forward to getting into.
"The city is a nice size. It's small enough where the community is nice and tightly knit," said Ochitwa. "The boys there like to work hard and they like to battle, which is always fun. It's an older league, but it's a tough league, so it'll be good."
Ochitwa's third-and-final year of Midget AAA with the Legionnaires has been his best statistically after steady progression from year one. He went from eight points in 42 games as a rookie, to 10 in 36 games last year. This season, Ochitwa has piled up 20 points in 37 games, with a handful still to go.
He noted the transition to the SJHL should be a similar one as it was in Midget AAA.
"Playing Midget AAA, it's all about your first year coming in here, testing out the waters, getting used to the systems, and progressing from there," explained Ochitwa. "As far as going to SJ, I think it's kind of the same process over again. Go in there, feel the waters, get used to the league, and excel from there to the best I can."
The 5-foot-9, 181-pound defenceman, was drafted 11th overall by the Mustangs in the 2016 SJHL Draft.
Ochitwa says he's received advice from teammates last year's Legionnaires team on making the jump to Junior A.
"They're all great players, you've got to be a good player to move on," he said of former teammates Hunter Lamb, Rin Beny, Jacob Piller, and Mkyllan Couture.
"The main thing is consistency - that's the one thing I've learned from all those guys - be consistent day in, day out."
Meanwhile, there's still unfinished business at the Midget AAA level for Ochitwa and the Legionnaires.
The Legionnaires are looking to bounce back after a 6-3 loss to the Notre Dame Hounds, and sharpen up ahead of playoffs, when they host the Prince Albert Mintos Sunday at Fairview West.