Friday, 30 September 2011

Walker Set for Season Debut

Brenden Walker practiced on a line with Michael Ferland
and Tyrel Seaman on Thursday, which may indicate his
readiness to return to the Brandon lineup.
Brenden Walker looks like he's ready to return to the Brandon Wheat Kings' lineup tonight when the Wheat Kings host the Swift Current Broncos (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

The 19-year old Walker has practiced without restrictions this week as he continues his comeback from a concussion originally suffered in the playoffs last March, and whose symptoms returned during an on-ice workout just prior to training camp in late August.

"It's just making me stronger as a person and it's making me better as person so I'm not going to be negative about it," said Walker after practice on Thursday, "This is just a positive now, 100 per cent, and I'm just going to go out and do my best."

Walker finished sixth in team scoring last season with 25 goals and 52 points in 70 games and his presence in Brandon's lineup should help take some of the offensive strain off the top line of Mark Stone, Paul Ciarelli and Alessio Bertaggia.

That threesome has combined to score 10 of Brandon's 13 goals through the first three games of the regular season.

"This is going to be a huge year for me. I have to be a leader, I have to be a person these younger guys look up to and I'm ready to do that," said Walker, "It's going to be good for me and it's going to be good for the team, so."

It might be natural to expect the Ste. Anne, Manitoba product to be a little gun-shy as he gets ready to step back into a real game for the first time since March 28th.

However, Walker says he can't change anything about his style.

"I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing, I'm not going to change much," said Walker, "I have to forget about everything, just think I'm healthy and that's all that counts...just go play my game out there, work with my teammates, be a leader and I think I'll be just fine."

Chaff...Bruno Mraz centred Dominick Favreau and Jens Meilleur in practice Thursday. The 18-year old Slovakian has played wing in the first three games of the season...F Alessio Bertaggia takes a three-game goal scoring streak into Friday's contest (5 G, 1 A)…F Mark Stone (2 G, 5 A) is on a three-game point streak (2 G, 5 A)...Broncos' radio voice Shawn Mullin reports that Swift Current F Dillon Wagner is out with a knee injury (or is that lower-body injury) suffered during Wednesday's game against the Wheat Kings...Lethbridge acquired F Matt Marantz, 20, from the Spokane Chiefs Thursday for a fourth round pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft...Seattle picked up D Braeden Laroque, 19, from Edmonton for an undisclosed 2012 Bantam Draft pick.

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