The Fort Saskatchewan U15AAA Rangers minor hockey team paid homage with a third jersey this season. 

During provincials in March, the U15 Rangers hit the ice in commemorative Fort Saskatchewan Traders’ jerseys. The Traders played in the AJHL from 1976 to 2007 until the franchise was bought by the St. Albert Steel. 

“We decided [the tournament] would be a good time to release a third jersey. A lot of professional sports teams have third jerseys and a lot of other elite-level hockey teams in the province have third jerseys. So, we figured there'd be no better way than to go back to the Junior A heritage and our history of the Fort Saskatchewan Traders,” said Robert Stecyk, president of Fort Saskatchewan minor hockey rangers athletic club.

The Traders name comes from Fort Saskatchewan's history as a North West Mounted Police trading fort in the 1870s. 

“It was the team that everybody aspired to play on when they were little. I remember going to the Traders games as a young child growing up in Fort Saskatchewan, aspiring to play. A lot of minor hockey players within the community aspired to that. It was a long rich history of hockey in Fort Saskatchewan and the Traders were a big part of that program,” added Stecyk.

So far, 26 Traders alumni have gone on to play in the NHL. Stanley Cup champion Mike Commodore played for The Traders and attended this tournament for a puck drop. 

Although the tournament results didn’t end up how the U15AAA Rangers would have liked, Stecyk said a lot of great memories were made. They placed 5th in the standings. Some parents of the players snuck down into the locker room and hung up the special third jerseys as a surprise.

“It was an overwhelming experience. We were down in the locker room, they had no idea,” said Stecyk 

After the Traders became the St. Albert Steel, in 2012 the Steel then became the Whitecourt Wolverines and the franchise is still under that ownership to this day.