Saturday, 27 June 2015

Pilon joins Provorov as NHL Drafted Wheat Kings

Ryan Pilon
  The 2015 NHL Draft wrapped up Saturday with just one more member of the Brandon Wheat Kings being selected.

  Defenceman Ryan Pilon was chosen by the New York Islanders in the fifth round, 147th overall.

  Pilon fell further in the draft than many expected after being 24th among North American skaters in the final rankings by the NHL Central Scouting Service.

  He scored 11 goals and 52 points in 68 games with the Wheat Kings in 2014-2015, and joins the team with which his cousin Rich played more than 500 games over seasons between 1988 and 2000.

  Pilon also joins former Brandon captain Ryan Pulock in the Islanders' system.

  Pulock, the Islanders' first round pick in 2013, and Pilon were defence partners on the Wheat Kings for much of the 2013-2014 campaign.

  Pilon and Ivan Provorov were the only two Wheat King players selected in this year's NHL Draft.

  Provorov was chosen in the first round, seventh overall, by Philadelphia on Friday night.

  Other notes from the final six rounds of the NHL Draft Saturday included former Wheat King Jesse Gabrielle going to the Boston Bruins in the fourth round, and Keegan Kolesar of the Seattle Thunderbirds being the lone Manitoban chosen, going in the third round to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

  A total of 35 Western Hockey League players were selected in the draft, the most for any single league.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Provorov Chosen by Flyers with 7th Overall Pick

Provorov poses with his parents Friday night (photo courtesy
@NHLFlyers twitter feed)
  Ivan Provorov became the 19th Wheat Kings' player to be chosen in the first round of the NHL Draft Friday night, being selected seventh overall by the Philadelphia Flyers.

  Provorov had 15 goals and 61 points in 60 games in his rookie season with Brandon, and was the first of five Western Hockey League players chosen in the first round.

  The Russian blueliner had been interviewed three times by the Flyers ahead of the draft, and said in his interview after the selection that he was a little nervous when Flyers' GM Ron Hextall got to the podium.

  "I was just hoping the Flyers would pick me and that's what happen so I'm really glad," said the 6-foot-0, 201 pound Provorov, "Just a great organization, lots of history and they've had a good team and I'm going to be everything I can to make the team as soon as possible."

  As soon as possible might mean as early as this fall, though that is very much up in the air.

  Provorov feels he's close to being NHL ready.

  "I'm going to work had this summer, go to the main camp and see what happens." said Provorov.

  "We believe you build from the back-end up and Ivan is going to be a big part of our defence moving forward," said Brandon product and former Wheat King Ron Hextall, the Flyers' GM, "We're really excited to have him, real good all-around player, great hockey sense."

  Provorov becomes the highest drafted Wheat Kings since current Flyer Brayden Schenn was selected fifth overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2009 NHL Draft, and he joins a group of Flyers' prospects that also includes Elkhorn product Travis Sanheim, a defenceman with the WHL's Calgary Hitmen.

  Sanheim was Philadelphia's first round pick (17th overall) in last year's NHL Draft and signed an entry-level deal with the Flyers shortly after last year's training camp.

  The first round was all that took place Friday night, with rounds 2-7 of the NHL Draft taking place Saturday.

  Provorov's Wheat Kings' defence partner Ryan Pilon is expected to be one of the first 50 players off the board when the draft resumes at 9:00 a.m. (CDT).

  Two other Wheat Kings are possible late round picks in goaltender Jordan Papirny and top scorer Tim McGauley.


Provorov poses with Flyers' GM Ron Hextall (left) and
owner Ed Snider (right)


Provorov gets his big day captured in a photo shoot


Provorov meets with the media

Provorov Coveted by Several NHL Teams

Ivan Provorov
  Ivan Provorov shouldn't have to wait too long to hear his name called Friday night at the NHL Draft.

  The Wheat Kings' defenceman is expected to be a Top-10 pick and many experts are predicting he won't get past the fourth overall selection, which is owned by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

  Provorov had 15 goals and 61 points in 60 games in his rookie season with the Wheat Kings in 2014-2015.

  "I thought I had a great year.  I thought I was consistent and did everything that I could to help the team win," said Provorov in an interview with the NHL Network, "We had a great team, won a lot of games and winning is fun."

  Provorov was ranked seventh among North American skaters in the final rankings by the NHL Central Scouting Service, but many are calling him the most complete defenceman available in this year's draft.

  "It means a lot.  I think I worked hard to get here, where I am," said Provorov, "It's nice to hear people appreciate the way you play."

  The 6-foot-0, 201 pound Provorov would become the highest selected Wheat King since Wade Redden went second overall in the 1995 NHL Draft.

  As well, Bill Derlago went fourth overall to Vancouver in 1978.

  Provorov is apparently drawing a lot of interest from teams, with Philadelphia Flyers' GM Ron Hextall said to 'covet' the Brandon blueliner, and rumours persist teams are trying to pry the #3 pick away from the Arizona Coyotes in order to leap in front of the 'Leafs and select Provorov.

  Only the first round goes Friday night in Sunrise, Florida, with the second through seventh rounds taking place Saturday.

  Wheat Kings' blueliner Ryan Pilon is expected to be chosen in the late second or early third round, while a couple of other Wheat Kings could get a late-round look in Tim McGauley and Jordan Papirny.

  This year will mark the 11th straight year the Wheat Kings will have a player chosen in the NHL Draft.

Chaff...former Wheat Kings' captain Mark Stone signed a three-year, 10.5 million dollar contract with the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.  Stone had 26 goals and 64 points in 80 games in his rookie season with the Sens...reports Thursday were former Wheat King Eric Fehr will not re-sign with Washington and will test the open market when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.


 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Wheat Kings' 2015-16 Schedule is Out

  The Western Hockey League's 2015-2016 regular season schedule has been released.

  We already knew the Brandon Wheat Kings will open their season by hosting the Swift Current Broncos on Friday, September 25th.

  The Wheat Kings' will have mainly a 'college schedule' for the first four weeks of the season, playing just one mid-week game in the first month until they open their season-long seven-game road trip begins October 21st in Spokane.

  Brandon's schedule includes 14 home games on Friday's and ten on Saturday's, and a lot of the Wheat Kings' home games will come in bunches.

  The club will have a five-game home stand in November and will play four straight home games four other times during the season.

  Other notes from the club's schedule is Brandon getting punched in the gut with three games in three nights four times during the season including three times in a five-week span in January; Brandon will entertain the Memorial Cup host Red Deer Rebels in their annual Remembrance Day contest and a rematch of the 2015 WHL Championship Series takes place on Saturday, December 12th when the Kelowna Rockets visit Westman Communications Group Place.

Brandon Wheat Kings' 2015-2016 Regular Season Schedule
(All Times CDT/CST)

Friday, September 25  - Swift Current at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 26 - Brandon at Swift Current, 8:00 p.m.
Friday, October 2 - Calgary at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 3 - Brandon at Regina, 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 6 - Vancouver at Brandon, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, October 9 - Kootenay at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 10 - Edmonton at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 16 - Swift Current at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 17 - Brandon at Saskatoon, 8:05 p.m.
Wednesday, October 21 - Brandon at Spokane, 9:05 p.m.
Friday, October 23 - Brandon at Tri-City, 9:05 p.m.
Sunday, October 25 - Brandon at Portland, 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday, October 27 - Brandon at Seattle, 9:05 p.m.
Wednesday, October 28 - Brandon at Everett, 9:05 p.m.
Friday, October 30 - Brandon at Kootenay, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 1 - Brandon at Moose Jaw, 4:00 p.m.
Friday, November 6 - Victoria at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 7 - Brandon at Swift Current, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 11 - Red Deer at Brandon, 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 14 - Lethbridge at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 15 - Prince Albert at Brandon, 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 18 - Medicine Hat at Brandon, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 21 - Regina at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 27 - Brandon at Lethbridge, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 28 - Brandon at Medicine Hat, 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 2 - Brandon at Swift Current, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, December 4 - Regina at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 5 - Saskatoon at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 8 - Calgary at Brandon, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 9 - Brandon at Moose Jaw, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, December 11 - Lethbridge at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 12 - Kelowna at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 16 - Kamloops at Brandon, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, December 18 - Brandon at Swift Current, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 19 - Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

** C H R I S T M A S  B R E A K **

Sunday, December 27 - Regina at Brandon, 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 29 - Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, January 1 - Brandon at Edmonton, 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 2 - Brandon at Red Deer, 8:00 p.m,
Sunday, January 3 - Brandon at Calgary, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, January 8 - Prince Albert at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 9 - Swift Current at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, January 15 - Red Deer at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 16 - Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, January 22 - Brandon at Prince Albert, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 23 - Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, January 24 - Brandon at Regina, 4:00 p.m.
Friday, January 29 - Brandon at Edmonton, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 30 - Brandon at Red Deer, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 31 - Brandon at Calgary, 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 2 - Brandon at Moose Jaw, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, February 5 - Prince George at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 6 - Medicine Hat at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday February 9 - Prince Albert at Brandon, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, February 12 - Saskatoon at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 13 - Brandon at Regina, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 17 - Kootenay at Brandon, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, February 19 - Edmonton at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 21 - Brandon at Prince Albert, 7:00 p.m.
Monday, February 22 - Brandon at Saskatoon, 11:30 a.m.
Wednesday, February 24 - Brandon at Kootenay, 8:00 p.m.
Friday, February 26 - Brandon at Lethbridge, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 27 - Brandon at Medicine Hat, 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 2 - Saskatoon at Brandon, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, March 4 - Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 5 - Brandon at Moose Jaw, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 6 - Brandon at Regina, 4:00 p.m.
Friday, March 11 - Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 12 - Saskatoon at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 15 - Swift Current at Brandon, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, March 18 - Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 19 - Regina at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Stone Up for Rookie of the Year

The National Hockey League will hand out its post-season awards Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

Former Wheat Kings' captain Mark Stone is one of the finalists for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.

Stone finished with 26 goals and 64 points in 80 games this season, ranking second among rookies in goals, tying for first in points and leading all rookies with a +21 rating.

Calgary's Johnny Gaudreau and Florida's Aaron Ekblad are the other finalists for the award.

Former Senators' captain Daniel Alfredsson is in Vegas to present the award, leading to speculation that Stone will, in fact, take home the hardware.

Meanwhile, Stone and the Senators are apparently progressing on a new contract.

Stone's entry-level contract expires July 1st and he would become a restricted free agent.