Thursday, 28 August 2014

Thiessen Getting Name Out

Dylan Thiessen had a goal and an assist for Team Black
in Wednesday's scrimmage at Wheat Kings' Rookie Camp
  When you're drafted behind Nolan Patrick, Kale Clague and Tanner Kaspick, it's not difficult to fly under the radar.

  Winnipeg product Dylan Thiessen is hoping to chance that his week.

  Brandon's fifth round pick in the 2013 Bantam Draft took to the ice Wednesday along with 46 other prospects (28 forwards, 14 defencemen and five goaltenders in total) as the Wheat Kings opened their 2014 Training Camp.

  "That was a really good draft year, and it's hard to get my name in there sometimes," said Thiessen, "I worked my best to get seen, play hard out here to get my name in there."

  The 6-foot-0, 185 pound Thiessen had a goal and an assist in the first scrimmage of Wheat Kings' Rookie Camp Wednesday night although his squad fell 5-4 in a shootout to Team White.

  Last year, Thiessen scored 17 goals and 41 points with the Winnipeg Wild, helping the club capture the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League title.

  "I had a good year myself, and my team did well," said Thiessen, "I'm happy with how I did and happy to get going next year.  I worked hard this summer, I'm prepared.  I'm kind of use to it now, I'm not as nervous as I was before.  I prepared a lot this summer."

  Thiessen also played with Manitoba at the Under-16 Western Challenge Cup last fall, scoring one goal and two points in four games in helping Manitoba to a bronze medal finish.

  The Wheat Kings' Rookie Camp continues Thursday with scrimmages scheduled for 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Chaff...Duncan Campbell had the shootout winner for Team White in Wednesday's scrimmage, with Stelio Mattheos scored twice in regulation.  James Shearer and MacKenzie Welke also scored for White while Kaspick, Connor Gutenberg and Bradly Goethals had the other Team Black goals.  Logan Thompson and Justin Klassen combined to stop 33 of 37 shots for the winners while Evan Robert, Josh Dechaine and Hunter Arps teamed up to stop 40 of 44 in the Black net.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Wheat Kings' Training Camp Opens

The first overall pick in the 2014 Bantam Draft, Stelio Mattheos,
was among the players weighing-in during rookie
registration Tuesday night.
  The Brandon Wheat Kings have officially gotten their 2014 training camp underway.

  About 45 first-year players reported Tuesday night and hit the ice Wednesday morining while returning players began their fitness testing Tuesday.

  Among the rookies hoping to stick around is defenceman Mark Taraschuk, who know's this year's training camp will be a lot different for him than the previous two he's attended.

  "This is the year where I came prepared, put the effort in all summer and skated and worked out every day." said Tarachuk on Tuesday, "I'm in Brandon and I don't plan to go home.  This is one thing I want and this is one thing that's going to happen."

  Taraschuk is one of the candidate to fill a spot on the Wheat Kings' blueline this year.

  A sixth round pick in 2012 Bantam Draft, Taraschuk had nine goals and 38 points in 43 regular season games with the MMHL champion Winnipeg Wild last season while adding four goals and nine points in 11 playoff games.

  The 17-year old Winnipeg product feels consistency will be a key for him during training camp.

  "I think that I have to put the effort in shift-in and shift-out and just do the little things that make it happen," said Taraschuk, "Find your guy in the D-Zone and, when you get a chance, put the puck in the net."

  Meanwhile, ten players chosen by Brandon in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft are participating in their first fall training camp with the Wheat Kings including goaltender Hunter Arps, Brandon's fifth round pick.

  "I'm going to try the best I can and make the most out of things," said Arps, who's expected to play this season with the SMAAAHL's Moose Jaw Generals, "I'm going to try real hard and see if I can make it to the final games."

  Also fueling Arps this fall is the fact he was stricken with illness during the Wheat Kings' Development Camp in the spring and was unable to participate over the final two days.

  Among the players who didn't report for camp was 2013 fourth round pick T.J. Brown, who's currently in camp with the AJHL's Camrose Kodiaks.

  U.S. College committed prospects like Wade Allison, Colt Conrad and Ryan Lindgren also did not report for the rookie portion of training camp.

Chaff...Westman products Landon Cross and Landon Peel have both been placed on the suspended list by the WHL's Kootenay Ice.  The duo did not report to the Ice's training camp this week, with Kootenay GM Jeff Chynoweth saying both players expressed a desire to play their 20-year old seasons with teams in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.  Chynoweth says Cross and Peel have been suspended for not reporting to camp and not fulfilling the 20-year old year of their WHL standard contract.

Wheat Kings' Training Camp Schedule

Rookie Camp
Wednesday August 27th
Team White Practice, 8:30 a.m.
Team Black Practice, 10 a.m.
Team White vs. Team Black, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday August 28th
Team White vs. Team Black, 10 a.m.
Goalie Session, 12:30 p.m.
Team White vs. Team Black, 6 p.m.
Main Camp
Friday August 29th
Team White Practice, 8 a.m.
Goalie Session, 9:30 a.m.
Team Black vs. Team Gold, 10:30 a.m.
Team Black Practice, 5 p.m.
Team White vs. Team Gold, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday August 30st
Team Gold Practice, 8 a.m.
Team White vs. Team Black, 9:30 a.m.
Intra-squad Game, 6 p.m.

Sunday August 31st
Intra-squad game, 2 p.m.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

ICYMI, Boutin Dealt to Blades


With Training Camp less than three weeks away, the Brandon Wheat Kings have announced that they’ve traded right-winger Dakota Boutin to the Saskatoon Blades in exchange for a conditional fourth round pick in the 2015 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.

A former third round pick (50th overall) of the Wheat Kings in 2012, Boutin scored five goals and 13 points for the National Midget Champion Prince Albert Mintos last season. He also played one game with the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Melfort Mustangs.

“We're proactively trying to manage a logjam at the forward position," says Wheat Kings coach and general manager Kelly McCrimmon. “ We have a number of returning forwards, and a number of rookies that will battle for roster spots. This will help alleviate the problem.”

“Dakota is a good young player that will get an opportunity in Saskatoon,” McCrimmon went on to say.

Brandon opens camp later this month at Westman Communications Group Place and will kick off its pre-season schedule on Friday, September 5th against the visiting Regina Pats.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Hawryluk Pointless in Jr. Tuneup

  Frédérik Gauthier, Anthony Duclair and Haydn Fleury had a goal and an assist each to lead Canada past the Czech Republic 6-2 Tuesday in their opening game at the National Junior Team Summer Development Camp.

  Sam Reinhart, Curtis Lazar and Nick Paul also scored for Canada while Brandon Wheat Kings' forward Jayce Hawryluk was held off the scoresheet.

  The Roblin product played on a line with fourth overall pick Sam Bennett and Arizona Coyotes' 2014 first rounder Brendan Perlini during the contest.

  Elkhorn product Travis Sanheim and Winnipeg's Madison Bowey are the only other Manitobans at the camp, but neither played in Tuesday's contest.

  Canada will continue its series of exhibition games by playing Russia on Wednesday.

  Meanwhile, Hockey Canada named the Under-18 roster for the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament later this month on Tuesday.

  There are no Manitoba connections on the roster though it does include eight WHLers -- Seattle's Mathew Barzal and Ethan Bear, Red Deer's Adam Musil, Medicine Hat's Connor Hobbs, Prince George's Jansen Harkins, Kelowna's Nick Merkley, Victoria's Tyler Soy and Moose Jaw's Zachary Sawchenko.

  Canada will face the Czech Republic in a pre-tournament game in Breclav on Saturday before opening the tournament against Switzerland on Monday (August 11th).

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Roy's Status Uncertain for 2014-15

Eric Roy was instructing at the
Wheat Kings' Hockey School last week.
  Eric Roy still has a lot of uncertainty as he prepares for the 2014-2015 hockey season.

  The 20-year old defenceman could play professionally, but has yet to sign a contract with the Calgary Flames -- the team that chose him in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

  "Obviously, the goal of mine is to turn pro but you have to listen to what Calgary wants you to do," said Roy last week, "If I come back to Brandon, it'd be another great year for us and we're going to have a good team.  You have to go would be good for my development to come back for another year."

  Roy got a taste of the pro game at the end of the last season, something he feels was pretty valuable to him.

  "I went up to Abbotsford for three weeks and it's way different than junior, that's for sure," said Roy, "It was a good learning experience for me.  Definitely after my second development camp (this past July), I felt a lot of confidence and it was a lot of fun."

  Roy, who had 11 goals and 44 points in 66 games with the Wheat Kings last season, has yet to sign a contract with the Flames but it's something he hopes will be taken care of this summer.

Chaff...the Regina Leader-Post reports that the Pats have hired Oak River product and former Wheat King John Paddock as their new head coach.  Paddock is expected to have a dual role with management powers, including hockey operations control...Wheat Kings' F Jayce Hawryluk is at Canada's National Junior Summer Development Camp this week, and will play in Tuesday's exhibition game against the Czech Republic.  Elkhorn product Travis Sanheim will not play.