Cody Barnes is developing into an effective power forward with the Swan Valley Stampeders.
The former 100 Mile House Wrangler had a good start to his season in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, putting up three goals and five points in eight games. Those totals are good enough to have him 10th overall among MJHL rookies in points.
“I feel I’ve been playing well. I’ve gotten lots of chances and making the most of those chances,” says Barnes.
In his two seasons with the Wranglers, Barnes had 31 goals and 69 points in 98 games. He added seven goals in 16 playoff games.
In recruiting Barnes, Stampeders coach-GM Barry Wolff heard nothing but great things from Wranglers coach Dale Hladun, who Wolff worked briefly with last season in November. Wolff says Barnes is a great person and teammate, who is big and strong with an above average skill set.
“He has the ability to turn a nothing play into a scoring opportunity,” says Wolff. “He has a huge offensive upside and will add scoring for us. Barnes was playing well for us before the pause, and like (Quinn) Mulder, continues to improve and become a better player at both ends of the rink.”
Barnes says it took some adjusting to the fast league, but feels he has adapted to the change of pace. He’s noticed the great talent in the league and says his adjustment has been helped by playing on a line with Mulder, also a former Wrangler.
“We had lots of success when we were in 100 Mile House together playing on the same line,” says Barnes, listed at six-foot-four, 214 pounds.
The Kelowna product says playing in 100 Mile House was a great experience as he became much more confident with his game. He credits Hladun, saying he can’t thank him enough.
“I have become much more confident and use my size to my advantage to protect the puck in the corners and come out with it,” says Barnes, who if the MJHL season resumes, wants to have a strong finish and be one of the top rookies on the Stampeders. “I feel I’ve become a great power forward before the season was paused.”