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Leafs’ Dawson signs with ACHA University of Mary


Crae Dawson of the Nelson Leafs has committed to play for the University of Mary in the American Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 for the 2024-25 season.

The Osoyoos product led the Leafs with 51 points in 40 regular season games.

Dawson, who began his KIJHL career with his hometown Coyotes, says last summer he made it a priority to become stronger and faster, which translated to improvement in all areas of his play and allowed him to play with more confidence.

“I also worked on my shot and having a shot-first mentality helped add to my offensive game,” he says, following a career year in all offensive categories.

While with the Leafs, Dawson was given the chance to be an impact player as the coaches and organization put him in situations that allowed him to succeed. They also helped with the recruiting process making it easier to gain exposure.

“Crae was an amazing player (team MVP) and person to be able to work with. He was a massive piece to the culture that we’ve built here and was a major part of our success,” says Leafs head coach-GM Briar McNaney. “Crae deserves every bit of accolades that he receives, and the University of Mary is getting a player that was highly sought after. They’ve added a massive piece to their program.”

“I’m very excited to get started with the University of Mary,” says Dawson. “As a team that recently moved up to the D1 level, I’m looking forward to helping further their winning culture at the next level.”