*Photo Credit : Cheryl Dunning *

Over the course of four seasons, Dawson Braun established himself as a talented leader in the Riels organization. Braun had something to prove in the MMJHL at 18, and made a notable impact on the Riels organization almost immediately. In the room, Braun brought a contagious smile and high level of respect to a group of unknown players, having been traded to the Riels from the Raiders at the beginning of the season. Great vision, paired with quick hands and a determination to win battles in tight in the offensive zone, established Braun as a young offensive threat on the ice. Braun would go on to post 11 goals and 23 points in 43 games in his rookie season, tied for sixth in the league amongst all rookie skaters in 2017-2018. 

Steady point production over the course of the next two seasons wasn’t enough to help the Riels win a playoff series, though Braun came to enjoy his time with the organization nonetheless. We asked Braun to share some thoughts on his MMJHL experience, and look towards the next step for an aspiring business leader in our community.  

 

Q: What did you bring to the Riels organization? Either on or off the ice.  

DB: In my first year I was just motivated to do well, prove myself, and contribute to the team. I definitely brought my playmaking, hockey IQ, and skills with the puck, and that even grew throughout the years… I improved and improved, and hopefully most of the guys on the team looked at me as a role model, and that I showed them a few things and taught them along the way. 

Q: Not many players go on to play a full four years in the league. What motivated you to come back in that second, third, and even fourth year? 

DB: It was my love of hockey and the organization. It was a good team to be on, and I enjoyed playing with the guys… Really good group of guys there… and the coaching staff. It can be really tough at times for the coaches, especially getting new guys every year. You want to mold them into players you want and positions and what not.. They did a really good job of grooming players and keeping them around. Each season pushed me to want to do better the next season and see where we could go from there.

Q: Were there any specific moments with the last few years where you were really proud of your team? Maybe other specific memorable moments? 

DB: Just every day in the locker room! Looking forward to coming to the rink and seeing the group you’re with. The most important part of the game is making sure you’re having fun, and keeping it light in serious times… I think that’s what stuck with me was how well we got along, had fun, and enjoyed the game we all loved, even with guys coming in and out of the team. 

Q: Good to hear that you were able to maintain that fun aspect of the game! Anything that your experience in the MMJHL taught you that you can carry with you into other areas of your life? 

DB: Dedication and work ethic. On the ice I was really motivated and pushed myself to do better, and that translates into everyday life. That really helps me. 

*Photo Credit : Cheryl Dunning *

It was my love of hockey and the organization. It was a good team to be on, and I enjoyed playing with the guys… 

Q: Since games were suspended, what has been the focus outside of hockey? 

DB: The focus has really been on doing well in school and to finish my degree, as well as getting outside as much as I can. In the winter time I went ice fishing a lot in Selkirk, near the bridge. It’s a short drive and I usually go with some friends. Fishing has definitely been one of my favourite hobbies… Really enjoy it. Now that’s getting nice out, going for walks with the dog. 

Q: What about school? You were at the U of W right? 

DB: Yes I’m there for the three year business degree! Leaning more to the marketing side, management… The school at home is an adjustment but I’m liking it… Don’t need to commute 30 minutes to school everyday so that’s been nice. At times it’s a little bit of a challenge, but what helped me was getting out of the house and doing other things that took my mind off school. That’s important. 

Q: Any specific short-term or long-term goals? Anything else you’re focused on? What about living in Winnipeg or elsewhere? 

DB: I definitely see myself living just outside of Winnipeg! I’m also a volunteer firefighter here in St. Andrews, so stick around and do that. I might even apply in the city one day. I’ve been on for a year now, and being a volunteer position, I just go on the calls that I can. It’s pretty nice that way. It’s been an interesting experience so far and i’m enjoying it! 

Q: What about the potential to stay involved with hockey? Any desire to coach one day? 

DB: Ya there’s definitely still a desire to play hockey, probably in that Iceplex league there where it’s still a bit competitive. Maybe even coaching too!  

Thank you for your contributions to the St. Boniface Riels Hockey Club, Brauner! 

 

Regular Season Stats

Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

2017 – 2018

43

11

12

23

20

2018 – 2019

38

12

10

22

14

2019 – 2020

43

19

21

40

15

2020 – 2021

4

0

1

1

12

*Photo Credit : Cheryl Dunning *