SIJHL MVP Katapaytuk commits to Nipissing of OUA

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – For the second year in succession the Superior International Junior Hockey League’s most valuable player has committed to play Canadian University hockey for the Nipissing Lakers of the OUA.   Fort Frances Lakers standout forward and reigning Pizza Hut player of the year Byron Katapaytuk has accepted an offer to attend the North Bay, Ont., school as well as play for the Nipissing University Lakers men’s hockey program.   This past season the 21-year-old Moose Factory, Ont., product led the SIJHL in offensive production with 85 points in 52 games on 32 goals and 53 assists. A total of 33 of his points came on the power play, which paced the league and he also finished tied for second overall in game-winning markers with six.   In 149 career SIJHL contests Katapaytuk tallied 65 times and doled out 110 helpers for 175 points.   At Nipissing he’ll be joining 2010-11 SIJHL Pizza Hut player of the year, two-time top defenceman award winner and former Dryden Ice Dogs captain Jon Mitchell who just completed his first year at the school.   Katapayutk joins a team that finished with the fourth-best winning percentage in the 19-team Ontario University Athletics men’s hockey conference at .679 posting a 17-7-4 record in 28 games.   NHL PROSPECT CAMPS: SIJHL alumnus and former league top goaltender award recipient Ryan Faragher is currently attending the Pittsburgh Penguins development camp in Pennsylvania.   Faragher just completed his freshman year at St. Cloud State University who play out of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.   Another SIJHL alum in Joe Basaraba just finished up at the Florida Panthers camp as he prepares to enter his junior season at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.   Both Faragher and Basaraba played for their hometown Fort Frances team in their SIJHL days.   RUNNING THE RANGERS: The Minnesota Iron Rangers recently brought on board Chris Walby to serve as the club’s new head coach and general manager.   Walby served as a coach for Middleton High School in Middleton, Wis., for nine years where he helped the school win three Big Eight Conference titles, three Sectional Six Championships and a trio of trips to the WIAA State Tournament.   He coached the Madison Capitols AAA major midget program in Wisconsin this past season.