Friday, 3 September 2010

Toews Wants to Earn Spot

David Toews is looking forward to being a Brandon Wheat King.

The 20-year old Toews left the University of North Dakota over the summer in order to play in the Western Hockey League.

Toews (left) is one of six 20-year old players currently on the Wheat Kings' roster so the most obvious question to ask when I caught up with him on Friday was whether he was guaranteed a spot for the 2010-2011 season.

"I'm not expecting to come here and just waltz my way in," said the 5-foot-11, 195 pound Toews, "Anywhere you go in hockey, anything you do, you have to earn it. That's the way it is...I just had a great opportunity to come here."

The Winnipeg product notched nine goals and 26 points in 55 games the past two seasons at UND and some his icetime dwindle during the second half of last season.

Toews says the opportunity to play more games and receive more ice time were the main reasons for his decision to come to Brandon.

"I want to play more, and I want to play more games. At the end of the day, that was a big factor for me," says Toews, "I'm excited to play a lot more and live more of the lifestyle of a professional hockey player. I'm really looking forward to that part here in Brandon."

Toews was a third round pick (66th overall) of the New York Islanders in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and will leave next weekend to attend the Isles' rookie training camp.

He says New York fully endorsed his decision to come to Brandon.

"They're excited to see where I'm at right now, coming into camp, and see how I do with the pro's out there," says Toews, "I think they're excited to see me play more games this year, and they'll be able to evaluate my game a little bit more. I think they have a lot of respect for this program, and I think they're really looking forward to seeing me play here in Brandon."

Toews added the one big adjustment he might have to make to playing in the WHL is the long bus trips, but joked that he's a heavy sleeper so he doesn't think it'll bother him that much.

The younger brother of Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, David got a chance to see the Stanley Cup up-close more than once this summer.

However, the younger Toews says he held to the hockey player tradition that you can't touch the Stanley Cup unless you've won it.

Toews and the Wheat Kings continue training camp on Saturday with scrimmages at 9:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

The Wheat Kings are expected to cut down to about 40 players prior to Saturday night's scrimmage.

Camp concludes with the annual intrasquad game on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.

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