Thursday, 9 June 2011

MacKay Headed to Europe

Matt MacKay
Former Brandon Wheat King Matt MacKay is headed overseas to continue his hockey career.

MacKay has inked a contract with Cologne of the German Elite League, a deal that sees the 20-year old head back to the country where he lived until was 12 years of age.

"Growing up in Europe with my dad playing 17 years over there professionally, I understand the lifestyle over there and how great of a life it was and how great the people are over there," says MacKay, "I weighed all my options and it was a real tough decision but I feel for my future, I feel I'm ready to play pro and I want to play pro and I think that was the deciding factor."

MacKay notched 17 goals and 52 points in 35 games with the Wheat Kings after being acquired along with a 2012 fourth round bantam draft pick from Vancouver in exchange for defenceman Darren Bestland early January.

The 5-foot-10, 175 pound MacKay says that second half success leads him to believe he'll have success as a pro.

"I think I really realized in that second half that I can be an impact player," says MacKay, "The Western Hockey League is such a great league and I feel that if I can do that in the WHL, then I should be making the jump to pro instead of going the CIS route."

MacKay adds he's currently working at acquiring a German passport, and hopes to follow in his father's footsteps of playing with the German National Team in Interational play including, possibly, the Olympics.

"I actually have a lawyer working on my passport and they think that within two years, I should have my passport and everything set," says MacKay, "From there, the next step is to make the Olympic team and play in the Olympics like my dad did."

MacKay was actually slated to play with the German team at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championship but passport issues forced him to miss out on the opportunity.

Corbin Boes takes a break during his time
with the WHL Ride for Kids on Tuesday.
Chaff...Wheat Kings' goaltender Corbin Boes was among the current WHL players who participated in the WHL Ride for Kids this week. Boes biked the first 100 kilometres of the Saskatoon to Swift Current leg, and ended up in Rosetown to sign autograpgs for school kids...Neate Sager from Yahoo Sports' Buzzing The Net recently caught up with Brandon product and Moose Jaw Warriors' defenceman Joel Edmundson for his Draft Tracker feature. You can take a look here.

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