He was the first of, perhaps, a handful of reinforcements for the Brandon Wheat Kings on Wednesday.
Michael Ferland was back in the Brandon lineup for their victory over Kamloops, contributing an assist in the Wheat Kings’ 6-4 victory over the Blazers.
Ferland has been sidelined since September 29th with a knee injury, missing 11 games and undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on October 7th.
“Coming here and seeing the guys again, it feels great,” said Ferland during Brandon’s off day in Cranbrook on Thursday, “Being on the road with them, playing the game again, it feel great to be back.”
Ferland was expected to be a top-six forward for the Wheat Kings this season but originally hurt his knee during the second day of training camp on September 2nd, with the injury causing him to miss all of his first NHL training camp with the Calgary Flames.
Ferland came back to Brandon and played in the club’s first three games of the regular season but he didn’t feel quite right, and it was then discovered that surgery would be needed.
Now, the 18-year old Brandon product is anxious to stay healthy, and have a productive 2010-2011 campaign.
“For sure. I hate injuries, it’s one of the biggest pet peeves ever,” says the 6-foor-2, 208 pound Ferland, “I just want to keep playing and, hopefully, stay healthy.”
Ferland has one goal and two points in four games this season after notching nine goals and 28 points in 61 games a year ago.
Meanwhile, David Toews is inching closer to returning after missing nine games with a high ankle sprain and rookie Jens Meilleur is also getting closer to getting into the lineup after suffering a broken hand during the final game of the pre-season.
Brandon will continue their road trip Friday night, when they pay a visit to the Eastern Conference leading Kootenay Ice (7:30 p.m., CKLQ).
Chaff…Last year, Brandon split four games with the Ice including a 1-1-0-0 record in Cranbrook…F Mark Stone has points in five of his last six games (4 G, 5 A)…D Brodie Melnychuk has four points (2 G, 2 A) in the last three games…F Jason Swyripa has points in three of the last four games (2 G, 2 A)…F Scott Glennie has five points (1 G, 4 A) in the last three games…after closing out their current road trip on Saturday in Lethbridge, the Wheat Kings will play seven of their next nine games on home ice starting with their November 5th matchup against Spokane.