Monday, 4 July 2011

Monday Morning Ramblings

Another week of holidays in the bag, and another week of catching up on the news.

- The Wheat Kings selected two players in the CHL Import Draft last Wednesday and, as expected, used both picks on forwards. Brandon grabbed 18-year old Swiss RW Alessio Bertaggia 33rd overall and 18-year old Slovakian F Bruno Mraz in the second round. "He's got good offensive skill, and he's really made a lot people take notice of his play this year," said Wheat Kings' GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon about the 5-foot-8, 165 pound Bertaggia, "He's we think, going to be a very exciting player for our team." McCrimmon described the 5-foot-11, 180 pound Mraz as an honest, hard working player with good quickness and hockey sense.

- You may recall that Bertaggia was the player that caused all sorts of issues when he skated at Portland's training camp last fall. The controversy eventually led to the Winterhawks being disciplined, although the nature of the penalty was not disclosed publicly.

- Amidst the hustle and bustle of the CHL Import Draft, the WHL released its 2011-2012 regular season schedule last Wednesday. As I first reported, Brandon opens the season and the new Moose Jaw Multiplex by visiting the Warriors on Thursday, September 22nd and will host Moose Jaw the following night in their home opener. Some interesting notes about the Wheat Kings' schedule: Brandon plays three games in three nights on two occasions this season, three games in four nights seven times and four in five nights four times; the biennial U.S. Division road trip also includes stops in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge, with the seven-game excursion taking place from October 12-22, or 7-10 days earlier than normal.

- Brandon's pre-season schedule begins September 9th, which means the club's training camp will once again take place on the Labour Day long weekend (August 31 - September 4).

- Wheat Kings' forward Tyrel Seaman and Killarney product Reid Gow of the Spokane Chiefs were among the 26 Western Hockey League players mentioned in the NHL Central Scouting Service's preliminary Futures List of North American players for the 2012 Entry Draft. The List was broken down by league and then into sub-lists (A, B, C). Seaman was on the C-List, Gow on the B-List. A-Listers included Red Deer D Mathew Dumba and Everett D Ryan Murray. You can view the entire list at http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=69970

- Jordan Fransoo's selection by Ottawa in the seventh round of the 2011 NHL Draft means Brandon has had at least one player chosen in seven consecutive years, the third longest current streak in the WHL. The Red Deer Rebels have had a player chosen in all 19 seasons they've been in the WHL, with Souris product Pete Leboutillier starting the trend in 1993. Vancouver has had players chosen in ten straight years.

- Former Wheat Kings' goaltender Jacob DeSerres is attending a development camp with the Phoenix Coyotes this week. DeSerres led the Saint John Sea Dogs to the Memorial Cup title and won the Jacques Plante Trophy as the QMJHL's best puckstopper this past season. "They want to meet me and get to know me and I'll work with Sean Burke a bit, the goaltending coach," DeSerres told Sea Dogs Snippets, "There's lots of opportunity in the system. Hopefully something happens when I'm down there."

- Brock Trotter is back with the Montreal Canadiens. The Brandon product has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Habs after spending last season with Dynamo Riga of the Kontinental Hockey League. Trotter spent two seasons in the Habs system from 2008 to 2010, playing two games with the Canadiens in 2009-2010.

- Former Wheat King Josh Harding inked a one-year deal with the Minnesota Wild on Friday. Harding missed all of last season with torn ligaments in his right knee. Harding went 9-12 with a 3.05 goals-against average during the 2009-10 season and has started 65 games for the Wild in five seasons.

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