Friday, 14 October 2011

Rimmer's Seen a Lot in Short WHL Career

Ty Rimmer has seen a lot of the Western Hockey League over the last 14 months.

The 19-year old Tri-City Americans goaltender started the 2010-2011 season with the Brandon Wheat Kings, going 2-2 with a 2.77 GAA and .902 SPCT in four starts before being dealt to the Prince George Cougars in early October for a sixth round pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.

Rimmer spent the rest of the season with the Cougars, eventually wrestling the #1 job away from another former Wheat King in James Priestner, appearing in 30 of his 43 games after the Christmas break while compiling an overall record 19-22-2 with a 3.24 GAA and .899 SPCT.

The Edmonton products’ time in the WHL’s most isolated Northern post ended in early August, when he was dealt to the Americans for 20-year old Drew Owsley and a pair of draft picks.

“I’ve been around a little bit, kind of all three corners of the Western League map,” said Rimmer Friday morning after the Americans’ game-day skate, “I can’t thank Tri-City for welcoming me the way they did, and it’s been a great experience so far.”

By moving Owsley, a two-year starter with Tri-City, the Americans seemed to be paving the way for Eric Comrie, the 13th overall pick in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft, to take over the Ams goaltending duties but Rimmer had other ideas.

“Coming in, I knew there was a talented 16-year old here and it was going to be my job a little bit to mentor him, show him the ropes and show him what the WHL is all about,” said Rimmer Friday morning, “So far, I’ve gotten off to a really hot start, it’s been good and I just want to continue playing that way.”

Rimmer might forever be the answer to a rare trivia question – the latest player chosen in the WHL Bantam Draft to play for the Wheat Kings.

He was a 14th round pick, 303rd overall, in the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft.

“The draft happens when you’re so young, we’re just kids at 14,” said Rimmer, “I don’t think I was more than 5-foot-3 coming in but I hit that growth spurt and, as you develop and get older and get more time in the net, you learn to grow as a goaltender and as a teammate.”

Rimmer, now 6-foot-0 and 170 pounds, enters Friday’s game against the Wheat Kings second in the Western Hockey League with a 1.64 goals against average and .950 save percentage while compiling a 4-1-0-0 record.

He’s also gone from a team in the Cougars, who’s expectations in 2011-2012 may be more about simply making the playoffs, to a organization in Tri-City that has averaged close to 48 wins a season over the past five years.

“There’s been some great goalies come through here in the past, so I knew there was some good shoes to fill,” said Rimmer, “We have a winning tradition here…it’s a lot of pressure, but we have great fans, a great support team here and a great group of guys.”

Chaff...Once known as Manitoba South, the Americans now feature four Manitobans in Winnipegers Justin Hamonic, Brenden Shinnimin, Mason Wilgosh and Adam Hughesman. Shinnimin, Wilgosh and Hughesman are Tri-City’s three 20-year olds...D Rene Hunter appears ready to return to Wheat Kings’ lineup on Friday night after missing two games with a suspected head injury...the Kamloops Blazers announced Friday that former Wheat King Jordan DePape will have surgery and miss the next four months. DePape has been battling shoulder problems all season, with the final blow coming in a fight with Medicine Hat's Emerson Etem this past Monday.

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