|Rihards Bukarts is tied for 2nd in the WHL Scoring Race|
Bukarts has scored in four straight games, is riding an eight-game point-scoring streak and his moved into a tie for 2nd-place in the WHL scoring race.
“I think that every single hockey player, when he has confidence, he can make big things and I think that’s all about me,” said Bukarts, “I’m getting in the zone every time and it kinds of works...I’m feeling confident, I can make real big things when I’m feeling confident.”
Bukarts looks to have taken some big strides this season after scoring 28 goals and 54 points in 65 games in his rookie season in the Western Hockey League in 2013-2014.
“I improved a lot last year and, right now coming back, I’m feeling more confident in my game,” said Bukarts, “Defence, offensive zone, and all these things...what I need to do and how I need to play.”
Bukarts notched two goals and an assist in Brandon’s 7-4 victory in Prince George on Wednesday night, just hours after learning his future with the Wheat Kings could be up in the air.
Richard Nejezchleb’s return to Brandon leaves the Wheat Kings one over the CHL limit of two import players, a situation that club will need to resolve in the next couple of weeks.
Regardless of that outcome, Bukarts says his time in Brandon has been enjoyable.
“This season is really exciting, we have a great team,” said Bukarts, “A Russian buddy came in and we can have some talks in our language, the coaching staff is great and I think it’s going to be a big season for our organization.”
From Bukarts’ standpoint, he just needs to continue to produce and play the game the way he has been playing and let the off-ice roster issue resolve itself in due course.
Nejezchleb’s return to Brandon’s lineup is at least two game away as he needs to serve a suspension that carried over from last spring’s playoffs.
Chaff...F John Quenneville (upper body) practiced fully Thursday and could return from his six-game absence Friday in Kamloops...F Peter Quenneville takes a six-game point streak into Friday’s contest (3 G, 6 A)...D Ivan Provoriv has goals in three straight games (4 G, 1 A) and leads all WHL rookies in scoring with 13 points...the Wheat Kings have scored power-play goals in 11 consecutive games going into Friday’s contest, going 20-for-61 (32.8%) over that span.