A trio of former Northern Alberta Xtreme (NAX) student-athletes in Ethan Leyer, Ty Whitford and Ty Yoder have committed to the NAIT Ooks for the 2023/24 season.
The trio spent the 2017/18 season in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) with the NAX U16 Prep team. That season NAX would go undefeated in the regular season before capturing the 2018 CSSHL U16 Prep Western Championship.
Leyer would finish tenth in league scoring with 49 points in 35 games. The St. Albert, AB forward led all skaters with nine points in five playoff games.
A forward from Strathcona County, AB, Whitford would finish fourth in league scoring with 60 points in 36 games. He would add three points in five playoff games.
Yoder would lead all U16 Prep skaters with 44 goals and 74 points in 34 games while being named the CSSHL U16 Prep MVP. The Tofield, AB forward would add eight points in five playoff games.
A 10th round pick, 204th overall by the Portland Winterhawks at the 2017 Western Hockey League (WHL) Draft, Leyer would join the Bonnyville Pontiacs for the 2018/19 Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) season, finishing with 17 points in 49 games.
Leyer would join the Whitecourt Wolverines for the next two seasons, tallying 54 points in 65 games. This season Leyer played 51 AJHL games with the Spruce Grove Saints, scoring 13 goals and assisting on 24 more.
Whitford would make the jump to the AJHL in 2018/19 with the Drayton Valley Thunder, playing three and a half seasons with the team. He would record 29 goals and 23 assists in 124 games before being joining the Drumheller Dragons during the 2021/22 season. In 95 games with the Dragons Whitford would produce 23 goals and 37 points, including a career high 40 points this season.
Selected in the fifth round, 93rd overall by the Victoria Royals at the 2017 WHL Draft, Yoder would join the team for the 2018/19 season. In parts of four seasons with the Royals Yoder would record 16 points in 116 WHL games. He would join the Okotoks Oilers during the 2021/22 season, finishing his junior career with the team. In 72 AJHL games he would score 29 goals and add 23 assists.
Located in Edmonton, AB, the Ooks play in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC).