He was a heart and soul player for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons for three seasons and his tireless work ethic had scouts and coaches constantly talking about #20 in the blue and gold.
Shane Fraser’s hard work has paid off as the MOB captain has committed to attend and play for the NAIT Ooks of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC), for next season.
“Once the season ended that was my main focus was where I was going to school and to have it figured out is a nice feeling and I’m pretty excited to have it set in stone and we’ll see how it goes the next couple years at NAIT,” said Fraser.
The 20 year old racked up 41 goals and 100 points in 151 career games with the MOB and finished fourth in team scoring this past season after scoring 21 goals and 54 points. The Strathmore native spent the majority of the season on a line with childhood friend Will Conley and Merritt Oszytko as he notched career highs in goals and points and hit the 100 point plateau in his career in the final game of the regular season. The season prior, Fraser centered the team’s top line with then captain Brandon Ralph on his wing. Ralph just finished his first season with NAIT and Fraser is excited to be reunited with his former teammate.
“Brandon’s obviously a great teammate and I looked up to him a lot in my year with him in Fort McMurray and he played a big part in the decision,” said Fraser of deciding to commit to NAIT. “I talked to him lots during the whole process and asked him what he thought of the school and how he liked it there. To be on the same ice as him again is really exciting, we had a good season together and played on a line for most of the year so I’m looking forward to playing with him again.”
Fraser was given the ‘C’ at the start of this season after watching Ralph and Tyler Dea his rookie year lead the MOB and learned what it took to be a leader. Through his efforts, he was named the AJHL’s Most Dedicated Player this season, an award voted on by coaches from around the league as everyone was taking note of what Fraser brought to his team.
Fraser’s three years in Fort McMurray certainly had their ups and downs. His rookie season saw the then 18 year old battle through two injuries as he suited up for just 34 games recording 7 points as the team won a league low 10 games. That season was followed up with a first place finish in the North Division and a 44 win season that saw the team reach the North Division Final. This past season the MOB again hit the 40 win mark but were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs.
“My time in Fort McMurray is probably the best three years of my life. A lot of great memories, a lot of great friends and I can’t thank my billets enough and the whole city and the organization in Fort McMurray enough. They do so much to make you the best player that you can be and even the year we were struggling they do whatever they can to put the best product on the ice and it’s definitely one of the top notch organizations in all of Canada to play junior hockey,” said Fraser as he went on to thank his coaches from over the three years in Tom Keca, Dave Dupas, Wes McLeod, Steven Garcia and Mike Brodeur.
Fraser had many memorable moments during his time with the MOB including scoring a pair of hat-tricks this season but his final game in a MOB jersey stood out above the rest.
“That last Game 7, just seeing the fans that was something special to play in front of a crowd that big and that loud and obviously it didn’t work out the way we wanted it to but just playing in front of a crowd of over 1,900 people was just surreal the feeling you get when you skate on the ice,” said Fraser. The announced attendance at the Casman Centre for that game was 1,937.
Fraser plans to study business administration while at NAIT and he becomes the fifth Oil Baron to commit to a post-secondary institution next season joining Will Conley (Holy Cross, NCAA), Eric Szudor (Alaska-Anchorage, NCAA), Merritt Oszytko (RIT, NCAA), and Coy Prevost (Windsor, USPORTS).