With the 2019-20 NAHL Season coming to an abrupt and unexpected end, the Austin Bruins are taking this time to thank the players whose junior careers wrapped up this season. TJ Chillot takes you through each of the 1999-born players who finished the season on the Austin roster and what they brought to the Bruins both on the ice and off. In addition, TJ looks ahead to see what’s on the horizon for these incredibly talented hockey players. #OnceABruinAlwaysABruin
Thank you, Dante Sheriff!
Sitting atop the Austin Bruins all-time scoring list stands one name, Dante Sheriff. After three seasons, Sheriff is first or second on MANY Austin Bruins records. As mentioned, he’s the all-time leader in points, he’s also the all-time leader in assists, he’s second in goals-scored, second in points-per-game, and has the second highest points total in a single season (and he likely would have been first had the Bruins season gone the full 60 games this year). Not to mention, Sheriff has been one of the most dynamic players to grace Riverside Arena. Sheriff suited up in 141 total games for the Bruins, good enough for 10th all-time behind his teammates Josef Mysak and Jaden Shields.
In those games, there is no shortage of incredible goals that Dante has scored for the black-and-gold. From his 11 game winning goals over three seasons, to his record-setting goal in Chippewa this season, to the handful of overtime winners. Yet, of all the amazing moments, none can compare to the energetic, electrifying, breakaway overtime winner Sheriff scored during 2019’s Paint the Rink Pink game.
What’s interesting, is if we look back to the very first two games of Dante’s junior career, we might have seen some foreshadowing. In a pair of games against Bismarck, Sheriff netted a goal and added assist in back-to-back nights. For those counting, that’s four total points in his first two games in junior hockey. Over the course of his career, the Woodbridge, Ontario native would have 40 total multi-point nights, including a quadruplet of four point games, three of those coming in 2019-20. By the time his junior career ended, Sheriff would end up with a litany of honors. The 20-year-old has earned the NAHL Central Division MVP, NAHL Central Division Forward of the Year, All-NAHL First Team, four NAHL Forward of the Week Honors, two NAHL Forward of the Month honors, and a slew of other commendations.
The Mercyhurst (NCAA D1) commit has a very bright future ahead of him, after leaving his mark on the Bruins record book. Heading off to college, we’re certain that Sheriff’s name will come across headlines almost weekly, as one of the most dynamic players the NAHL has ever seen moves onto the college ranks.
Thank you Dante, for ever stick handle, every exciting goal, every set-up pass, and for years of entertainment and enjoyment. We look forward to watching your career blossom at the next level.
152 Games Played, 52G, 1061A, 158 pts, +33, 219 PIM