Former Mustangs play-by-play voice Barrett to become voice of Swift Current Broncos

Photo courtesy of Mat Barrett. Former Melfort Mustangs play-by-play man Mat Barrett is headed to Swift Current to become the voice of the Broncos.

Mat Barrett’s time as the radio voice of the Melfort Mustangs has come to a close.

Barrett has accepted a new position with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League (WHL), where he will serve as the broadcast and community relations manager for the team.

Barrett says he is excited for the next step in his career as a broadcaster.

“The opportunity came up to take that next step in my career to call hockey games in the WHL and the fit with Swift Current seems to be perfect.  I’m just excited to take that next step and continue to develop as a broadcaster and be a part of the WHL. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m just super honored that I was the one that they decided that I was going to be the voice of their team.”

With the move to Swift Current, Barrett will be logging plenty of hours on the bus as the Broncos will travel across Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. over the course of the season.

Barrett says he is looking forward to seeing new places, and networking with other WHL broadcasters.

“There’s going to be a lot more travel which is going to be interesting. It’ll be fun to be able to go see some new communities and be a part of that. And to be able to meet other broadcasters that can maybe help me and just be a part of that fraternity. It can be really exciting to meet a lot of new people and go to a lot of different new places and call games for different teams and different players.”

Despite missing out on the WHL playoffs in the last two seasons, the Broncos feature plenty of NHL drafted talent on their roster, headlined by captain Owen Pickering, who was a first round selection by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2022.

Other NHL drafted talent on the Broncos includes goaltender Reid Dyck (Boston Bruins 2022 6th round pick), Josh Filmon (New Jersey Devils 2022 6th round pick), Connor Hvidston (Anaheim Ducks 2022 5th round pick) and Josh Davies (Florida Panthers 2022 6th round pick).

Barrett says he is looking forward to calling games for players who will have long, professional careers ahead of them.

“It’ll be pretty neat to be able to call games for players that are going to be in the NHL and are going to be longtime NHLers in the future. it’s pretty crazy to think that I get to call games for some of these players that are going to be having their names on the back of NHL jerseys that kids are wearing for the next ten or 15 years.”

Barrett spent six seasons in Melfort as the voice of the Mustangs.

“Mat calls the game with enthusiasm and accuracy. His love of hockey and broadcasting is evident in his calls,” said long-time voice of the Red Deer Rebels, and current radio voice of the Edmonton Oilers, Cam Moon in a Broncos press release. “Mat also has a strong understanding of a junior hockey team’s importance in a Western Canadian city. He’s going to do a tremendous job.” 

Barrett says he looks back on his time in Melfort fondly.

“I can’t say enough good things about my time in Melfort, the people were amazing and it’s an unbelievable place and the people here have been so good to me, and they were so patient with me when I first got here. The team was so amazing to me, and they didn’t have to give me a shot, but they did. This was my starting spot and Melfort will be a place that I’ll cherish forever, and I’ll come back to as much as I can.”

SJHL Transactions

• The Mustangs have acquired the rights to former Prince Albert Minto Chase Friedt-Mohr from the Melville Millionaires in exchange for two players, two picks, and a player development fee. Friedt-Mohr spent the 2022-23 season with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL where he scored three goals and added six assists in 67 games. He added one assist in six playoff games with the Americans. Heading to Melville are 2006-born defenceman Cohen Swan, 2006-born forward Evhan Allan, a first round pick in 2024, and a third round pick in 2025 along with the PDF.

• The La Ronge Ice Wolves have traded 2004-born forward Flynn Maxcy to the Melville Millionaires for a player development fee. Maxcy had five goals, five assists, and 36 PIMs in 37 games with La Ronge last season.

• Flin Flon Bombers defenceman Cory King and Reece Richmond have both committed to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Trojans (ACAC) for the 2023-24 season. King, a former Moose Jaw Warrior, suited up for 122 games in a Bomber uniform, recording eight goals and 41 assists for 49 points during that span. Richmond  finished second in scoring among SJHL defenceman last year with 48 points in 54 games, and was named the Bombers’ top defenceman. He also had 10 points in 16 playoff games. The Trojans compiled a 13-10-1 record in the ACAC last season.

• Bombers captain Lucas Fry has committed to the University of Manitoba Bisons for the 2023-24 season. Fry scored one goal and added 11 assists for 12 points in 54 games with the Bombers last season. He added two goals and on assist in 13 playoff games.

• The Bombers have acquired 2004-born forward Bailey Ewonus from the AJHL’s Grand Prairie Storm for a player development fee. Ewonus tallied two goals and six assists in 30 games last year for the storm. He started the season with the Blackfalds Bulldogs, where he picked up two points in 17 games before being traded to Grand Prairie.

• The league champion Battlefords North Stars have also made a deal with the Blackfalds Bulldogs, sending their second leading scorer, Holden Doell, to the Bulldogs in exchange for a player development fee, the CJHL rights to 2003-born forward Ryan Johnson, and future considerations. Dell scored 33 goals and added 67 assists for 100 points in 49 games last season with the North Stars. He also added five goals and 15 assists in the SJHL playoffs, and lead the club in scoring at the Centennial Cup with eight points in six games. Johnson spent last season with the New Mexico Ice Wolves of the North American Hockey League where he tallied 19 goals and 14 assists for 33 points in 55 games.