By: Ty Dilello – The Niverville Citizen
The final roster of the first edition of the Niverville Nighthawks has been unveiled. Over the next few days, we will be releasing detailed profiles on each of the players who will take to the ice when the season starts up on Friday, September 16.
In today’s article, we will focus on the first batch of forwards.
Zak Kennet (17)
Zak Kennett was born in Crookston, Minnesota and raised in nearby Red Lake Falls. He played for the Red Lake Falls youth hockey program all the way through Bantam, later joining the Red Lake Falls high school hockey team where he played his last three years of high school.
Kennett spent the 2021–22 season playing in the NAHL with the Bismarck Bobcats and the Granite City Lumberjacks of the NA3HL. He scored 33 points in 39 games with Granite City.
Kennett fondly remembers beating Kittson County Central in the Section 8A playoffs.
He is now looking forward to playing for the Nighthawks with his younger brother Ty.
“Joining the Nighthawks felt like the right fit for me from the beginning. The support the team gets from a small town reminded me a lot of my hometown and it felt like a place I could really grow as a player. I think the team has looked solid and should be able to compete with anybody in the league.”
Ty Kennet (19)
Ty Kennett was born in Crookston, Minnesota but was raised in nearby Red Lake Falls. His dad got him into hockey when he was very little and Kennett went on to play for the local team in Red Lake Falls all the way up until his high school graduation.
In his senior year of high school, during the 2021–22 season, Kennett exploded for 44 goals and 49 assists for 93 points in 26 games.
The Nighthawks are certainly hoping that Kennett can keep up his scoring ways this coming season!
Kennett’s favourite hockey memory came when he made the Minnesota State Tournament when he was in Peewee. He is looking forward to playing with the Nighthawks with his older brother Zak, who is two years his elder.
“The coaching staff here welcomed me and really seem to care about my hockey future. I am very excited to get things started, as it should be a fun year!”
Brett Tataryn (14)
Brett Tataryn was born in Selkirk, Manitoba in 2003 and was raised in nearby Argyle.
Tataryn played Interlake Lightning AAA for two years of Bantam hockey before moving away for Grades 10–12 at the Pilot Mound Hockey Academy to play in the CSSHL Midget Varsity League.
Last season, Tataryn got his very first taste of life in the MJHL when he was selected to play for the OCN Blizzard.
The 6’1”, 194-pound forward scored nine goals and 11 assists last season for 20 points in 54 games with 47 penalty minutes.
Among his career highlights to date, Tataryn lists winning the CSSHL championship in 2020 and scoring his first MJHL goal. Away from the rink, Tataryn loves hunting and being outdoors. He also claims to be a decent cook.
Tataryn is very excited to become a member of the Nighthawks for its inaugural season.
“Joining the Nighthawks is a big deal for me because I was looking for a fresh start and I felt that there was no better option than joining this club. I’m itching to get started this year.”
Brendan Kerr (11)
Brendan Kerr was born on August 17, 2002 in Victoria, British Columbia. He lived in Victoria until his first year of Midget hockey, when he moved to Penticton to play for the OHA.
From there, Kerr moved to Saskatchewan to play for the Notre Dame Hounds Midget AAA team for two seasons. He started his junior career with the Cowichan Capitals in the BCHL and finished that year with the Hounds Junior A club where he has spent the last year and a half.
Now going onto his sixteenth year of playing hockey, Kerr’s favourite hockey moment was winning the Saskatchewan Male U18AAA Hockey League (SMAAAHL) provincial championship in 2019 and competing in the Western Championships.
“I’m excited to join the Nighthawks organization because it’s always exciting to join a new club and meet new teammates, and not every day you can be a part of an expansion team in any league. It’s exciting to bring hockey to a small town that is dying to watch their town compete in their provincial Junior league.”
Josh Paulhus (10)
Josh Paulhus was born and raised in Saskatoon. He started playing hockey when he was four years old and played all his minor hockey years in Saskatoon, finishing with two years on the Saskatoon Contacts Midget AAA club.
When he was 17, Paulhus started playing junior hockey, spending time with the Humboldt Broncos (SJHL), Regina Pats (WHL), La Ronge Ice Wolves (SJHL), and most recently the last two seasons in the WHL with the Saskatoon Blades.
Paulhus’s favourite moment in hockey to date came when he scored his first WHL goal in his first game ever with the Regina Pats, as well as when he joined his hometown Saskatoon Blades.
“I’m really excited to get the season going with the Nighthawks and start a brand-new franchise off on the right path to success. I’m also looking forward to jumping into a larger role, which is important. And I’m really excited to start the season with this new team.”
Kennan Reyelts (15)
Kennan Reyelts was born and raised in Proctor, Minnesota. He has played hockey since he was four years old and was sort of born into the sport, with both of his parents playing at the college level.
Reyelts’s favourite memory in hockey so far was scoring the overtime game winner to send his team to the regional tournament back in youth hockey.
He spent the 2021–22 season with Proctor High School in the Minnesota High School hockey circuit, scoring 25 goals and 14 assists for 39 points in 26 games.
“The Nighthawks is a good team in a good league, and the town of Niverville is a lot like my hometown of Proctor. It’s a small community and we as a team can really bring the community together just like my high school team did back home. I am super excited to get things going this year and it is going to be an awesome season!”
Brendan Bottem (8)
Brendan Bottem was born and raised in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. He has been playing hockey ever since he was five years old. He has a rich hockey background, with his father having played the game both at the high school and college level.
Bottem has spent the past three seasons playing high school hockey in Thief River Falls.
During the most recent 2021–2022 campaign, Bottem scored 28 goals and 23 assists for 51 points in 28 games.
“Joining the Nighthawks organization is important to me because of how much support there is for this team and how excited people are to watch us play. I’m super excited to get things going with these guys and I am excited for a fun year.”