Snow Lake's Calvin Cairns, a former Norman Northstar whose junior hockey career has taken him from Estevan, Sask. to Neepawa and on to Dauphin will suit up for the Keyano College Huskies of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference in Fort McMurray.
Cairns had eight goals, eight assists and 112 penalty minutes as an assistant captain with the Manitoba Junior Hockey League's Dauphin Kings this past season, along with one goal and 11 penalty minutes in four playoff appearances.
Experienced playing both as a forward and a defenceman, Cairns, 20, had 15 goals, 26 assists and 373 penalty minutes in 156 regular season MJHL games with the Kings and the Neepawa Natives over three seasons.
"Cal embodies what it is to be a Dauphin King," said Kings' assistant coach and director of marketing Marc Berry in an announcement on the team's website. "He plays with passion, energy and always wears his heart on his sleeve. He plays a team first game."
The 5'10", 185-pound Cairns joins the Huskies for their inaugural season in the ACAC, having caught head coach Paul Strand's eye when he watched the Kings play on a scouting trip, though he wasn't the player that Strand had originally come to watch.
"I really noticed this feisty young winger who seemed always to be on the puck and in the play," said Strand on the Keyano College website. "He can get in the corners and stir up some stuff and go after the puck and that is what we want."
Cairns landed with the Kings as part of a three-way deal in September 2010, when his rights, along with those of 20-year-old defenceman Ed Friesen, were traded from Neepawa to the Estevan Bruins of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in exchange for 19-year-old forward Ward Szucki. The Bruins then sent Cairns, Friesen and future considerations to the MJHL's Kings for 20-year-old defenceman Joel Kot.
Cairns scored six goals and eight assists for the Natives in the 2009-10 MJHL regular season and added one assist in four playoff games. He had 156 minutes in penalties in the regular season, when he led Neepawa in fighting majors. He had just four minutes of penalties in the playoffs.
He started his junior hockey career with the Bruins before being shipped to the Natives along with 20-year-old forward Jordan Lane and 19-year-old defenceman Mike Dopko in exchange for forwards Matt Luongo, 18, and Anthony Collins, 20, and defenceman Dylan Towns.
Cairns' last season for the Thompson-based Northstars in the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey league was 2008-2009, when he won the team's the Barry Patterson Award as the most popular player and was the co-winner of the Clifford Duchesne Hardest Worker Award. He was one of two players from the Northstars named to the league's East Division all-star game that season.