Saturday, 10 December 2011

Post Stone, Ferland Era Starts Sunday

Brenden Walker
The post Mark Stone and Michael Ferland era begins Sunday for the Brandon Wheat Kings as they conclude their three-game Alberta road trip in Calgary (2:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ and http://www.cklq.com/).

Stone and Ferland left the team Saturday to begin their participation in the Canadian Junior Team Selection Camp, taking with them a combined 109 points and 32 per cent of the goals Brandon has scored this season.

The Wheat Kings’ offence will now have to come from some other sources, including centre Brenden Walker, who has quietly moved into a tie for 23rd in the WHL scoring race with 33 points.

“It’s going to good for me, and it’s going to be good for everyone on this team,” said Walker after Brandon’s practice in Red Deer on Saturday, “There’s going to be a lot of opportunity, and I have to prove that I can do it and I think I’m able to do it so I’m going to do my best.”

Walker is currently third on the team with 33 points, quietly moving into a tie for 23rd-place in the WHL scoring race.

He’s played the majority of the season on a line with Ferland and Stone, which means he’ll be getting new linemates for at least the next few days and, possibly, a lot longer.

Darian Dziurzynski and Jason Swyripa skated on the wings with Walker in practice on Saturday.

“It’s going to be huge to get to know the guys, but I’ve played with (Swyripa) and I’ve played with (Dziurzynski) now so we’re just going to have to work hard and do everything that we do best,” said Walker, “We have to do everything simple, play good defence, have a good neutral zone and get the pucks in deep and just cycle. We just have to use our skill and I think everything is going to be just fine.”

The Wheat Kings will be seeking their 20th win of the season Sunday in Calgary.

Chaff… Ferland will play on Team White and Stone on Team Red during the Selection Camp…former Wheat Kings’ captain Teagan Moore and Russell product Brock Nixon, who both play with the Calgary Dinos, will be part of the CIS All-Star team that’ll play the Canadian Juniors on Tuesday night…according to http://www.capgeek.com/, Michael Ferland’s entry level contract is worth $607,500, $630,000 and $680,000 in the three seasons for a total of $1,917,500 ($67,500 each year in AHL) plus a $242,500 signing bonus paid out over three years…D Brodie Melnychuk will play his 280th career game on Sunday, moving him past Eric Fehr and into 11th-place on the Wheat Kings all-time list…2011 draft pick Jordan Papirny will back up Brandon Anderson again during Sunday’s game…Prince George’s Campbell Elynuik has been suspended for a boarding major in Seattle on Friday night. He’s the 56th suspension of the season thus far, with a total of 168 games being handed out by the WHL office.

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