Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Smith commits to Western Michigan 

Dawson Smith in action this past season. Photo courtesy of Becky Zimmer/SJHL


The La Ronge Ice Wolves are thrilled to announce that goaltender Dawson Smith has committed to Western Michigan University (NCAA D1) for the 2023-24 season.

“I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated my time in La Ronge. Before my time there, I wouldn’t have been able to point out La Ronge on a map, but after two years, it’s going to be impossible to forget,” said Smith. 

“It’s a great community with great people and some amazing hockey fans. Thank you to my billet family (Allyson and Jared Richards) for letting me crash at your pad and become part of your awesome family. Most of all, I want to thank Kevin Kaminski for taking a chance on me and giving me an opportunity to play with the Ice Wolves over the past two seasons.” 

The Whitehorse, YT product is coming off a sensational campaign with the Ice Wolves, recording a sparkling 2.47 GAA and .933 save percentage in 35 regular season appearances. For his efforts, the 2003-born netminder was one of the finalists for the SJHL Goalie of the Year award.

La Ronge Head Coach and GM Kevin Kaminski says Smith’s commitment to Western Michigan University is well-deserved. 

“Western Michigan is getting an unbelievable kid with an ultimate work ethic and care factor. He competes on every puck in practices and games. He can make the most spectacular saves when you think it’s a sure goal,” said Kaminski. 

“Dawson has a pro mentality where nothing fazes him. He has been our backbone and a difference maker in La Ronge. We’d like to wish him all of the best in Western Michigan.” 

Smith played two seasons with the Ice Wolves, posting a 31-21-7 record in the process. At the year-end awards banquet, he took home MVP and playoff MVP honours. 

Prior to signing with the Ice Wolves, Smith spent two seasons with the Cariboo Cougars U18 AAA program in Prince George, B.C. 

Smith is the first Ice Wolf from the 2022-23 team to commit to a post-secondary institution.