Friday, 3 September 2010

Nelson Hoping to Follow Brandon Blueprint

Cody Nelson is hoping to follow in some pretty impressive footsteps.

The 16-year old Nelson was added to Brandon's list 14 months ago after being passed over in the 2009 Bantam Draft and is trying to join the likes of Matt Calvert and Michael Ferland as local products to play for the Wheat Kings after not being chosen in the bantam draft.

"I look at it as an advantage for me," says Nelson, "It pushes you to be better than everybody else that got drafted."

This year's training camp is the second go-round for Nelson, who was one of 45 prospects held over the start of main camp Friday.

"I think I feel a little more confident, being an older guy and one of the guys to look up to," says Nelson, "More than coming in wide-eyes and not having a clue what to expect. It's just a little more relaxing."

The 5-foot-11, 196 pound Nelson spent last year with the AAA Midget Wheat Kings, notching eight goals and 19 points in 44 games.

He played with Team Manitoba at last year's Western Canadian Under-16 Challenge Cup and is one of 29 players remaining on the evaluation roster for Hockey Manitoba's U17 team.

11 of those 29 players will be chosen to join their Saskatchewan counterparts on Team West for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge this December in Winnipeg.

61 players in total will participate in main camp in five goaltenders, 20 defencemen and 36 forwards.

Nelson expects the intensity level to pick up on Friday when the Wheat Kings' 16 returning players hit the ice.

"Those guys are going to getting ready for their season to start so they're going to be playing their top game," says Nelson, "We're going to have to be playing our best to play at that level."

There are two scrimmages slated for Friday at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Chaff...among the nine unlisted prospects retained for main camp were the cousin of former Wheat King captain Keith Aulie, Sam Aulie; Taylor Wells, the son of former Brandon assistant coach Brad Wells, and Jon Gaudet, who finished seventh in scoring in the Winnipeg High School Hockey League last year while with the Vincent Massey Trojans.

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