Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Calvert Remains Upbeat

Former Brandon Wheat Kings' co-captain Matt Calvert says he grew a lot as a player despite spending most of his second professional season in the American Hockey League.

Calvert was a guest on CKLQ's Monday Sports Talk with Tyler Crayston and myself this week, and said he took some positive strides in his overall game during the 2011-2012 campaign.

"You have to take your bumps and bruises, and there's going to be tough times along the way," said Calvert, "Not many people walk into the NHL in their first two years. It's definitely been a learning experience this year. When you go through adversity, you learn a lot more and I definitely felt that way this year."

Calvert had 17 goals and 36 points in 56 games with Columbus' AHL affiliate in Springfield while also registering three assists in 13 games with the Blue Jackets.

"It's been an up-and-down pro career but that's why it's so fun because you never know where you're going to be but you always have the goal of being in the NHL," added Calvert, "It's been a crazy ride but I'm just getting started and I'm pretty excited about next year already."

Calvert spent three seasons with the Wheat Kings from 2007 to 2010 and there are some parellels to his rookie season in '07-08 and the outlook for the 2012-2013 edition of the Wheat Kings.

Calvert and fellow rookies Brayden Schenn and Scott Glennie burst on the WHL scene when it appeared the Wheat Kings might be short scoring forwards -- something that also appears to be facing the club this off-season.

Calvert offered this advice to the new crop of Brandon prospects.

"I think you just have to believe in yourself. You know you're a good hockey player and you're there for a reason and once you get used to the speed, the passes and all the kind of stuff rookies go through, you just become comfortable," said Calvert, "We just went out there and played, let our skills take over and had fun."

Here's Calvert's complete visit with Tyler Crayston and myself on this week's edition of Monday Sports Talk.

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