Thursday, 13 October 2011

Nelson Appreciative of Opportunity

Cody Nelson has nothing but praise for the Brandon Wheat Kings, despite no longer being a member of the organization.

The Brandon product was dropped from the Wheat Kings’ protected list during the summer, being told the he’d have a better opportunity to crack the roster of another WHL team than he would for his hometown club.

But that wasn’t the last Nelson would hear from Wheat Kings’ general manager Kelly McCrimmon, whose endorsement helped pave the way for the 17-year old to join the Spokane Chiefs.

“Kelly helped me a lot, finding a good place to be. He had great things to say about Spokane,” said Nelson after Chiefs' practice on Tuesday, “From talking to (Chiefs’ GM) Tim Speltz and hearing things about their organization, it seemed like a no brainer to come here. I can’t thank Kelly enough for everything he’s done for me. Being part of the Wheat Kings’ organization was pretty cool, and he helped we continue my dream to play in the Western Hockey League.”

The 5-foot-11, 205 pound Nelson had one assist and 19 penalty minutes in seven pre-season games with the Chiefs, and is pointless with nine penalty minutes in three regular season contests.

Included in that total is his first WHL fight, an altercation with Lukas Walter of the Tri-City Americans during Spokane’s season-opening 4-1 loss on September 24th.

Despite scoring 31 goals in 33 games with the AAA Midget Wheat Kings a year ago, Nelson is viewed more as a scrappy, heart-and-soul type player at the Western Hockey League level.

And he may have the perfect role model in Chiefs’ captain Darren Kramer.

“Darren is a perfect guy to be our 20-year old and be our captain on our team…he’s a guy I look up to a lot,” said Nelson, “I have a lot to learn from him, and not just from a fighting aspect, but from his leadership, the way he competes, goes to the net. He’s the perfect guy for me to have to look up to.”

Despite having no animosity toward the Wheat Kings for the team dropping him from their protected list, Nelson still said he’d have a chip on his shoulder for Wednesday’s game.

“October 12th has been circled on my calendar for quite some time,” said Nelson.

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