Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Wheat Kings Prepare for Camp

It was empty Monday, but by Wednesday this ice will
be filled with Wheat Kings' hopefuls
The Brandon Wheat Kings will open their 2012 training camp on Wednesday.

It's been one of the busier off-seasons in recent memory for the Wheat Kings in recent memory with the hiring of a new head coach in long-time assistant Dwayne Gylywoychuk and acquiring three players in separate deals in Geordie Maguire and 20-year olds Tyler Yaworski and Nick Buonessesi.

"This year, because we weren't at the full limit, it gave up an opportunity to check that market and make some decisions on players that we thought could come in here and help us," said Wheat Kings' GM Kelly McCrimmon on Monday, "With Geordie Maguire, it was a chance to acquire a good young player that, primiarly for academic reasons, wasn't likely wasn't going to be in Everett this year so that gave us an opportunity to add a good, young 17-year old player to our organization so we didn't want to let that opportunity pass."

The movement in the off-season plus the graduation of a number of key veterans means the Wheat Kings will bring just 13 players to training camp that finish the season with the team a year ago, not including defenceman Colton Waltz and centre Tim McGauley (both were with the team as affiliate players to finish the season a year ago).

Alessio Bertaggia is the only forward returning to the team that topped the 20 point mark last season so there's plenty of questions marks up front for the Wheat Kings.

"We had real good discussion with all our forwards at Prospects Camp (in May), just in terms of outlining to them just what the opportunities were available for players to be in shape and be ready to take advantage of the opportunity in front of them," said McCrimmon, "Ultimately, it's up to the players to show us that they're ready to do that. I think that's one of the things we'll really be looking at hard during training camp and through the pre-season."

The Wheat Kings will officially open training camp Wednesday with registration taking place on Tuesday night.

Chaff...2011 First Round pick Kord Pankewicz will begin training camp as a forward. The 11th overall pick was drafted as a defenceman and played forward during the entire 2011-2012 season with the Leduc Oil Kings of the AMHL...Richard Nejezchleb (pronounced NEZJ-leb), whom the Wheat Kings chose 35th overall in the 2012 CHL Import Draft, has arrived in Brandon...Brent Sutter returned as general manager of the Red Deer Rebels on Monday, with Jesse Wallin remaining as the head coach.

Tentative Training Camp Schedule
(all sessions at Westman Communications Group Place)

Rookie Camp
Wednesday, August 29th
Team White Practice, 8 a.m.
Team Black vs Team Gold, 9:30 a.m.
Tean Black Practice, 5 p.m.
Team White vs Team Gold, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 30th
Team Gold Practice, 9 a.m.
Team White vs Team Black, 10:30 a.m.
Rookie Camp Intrasquad Game, 6 p.m.

Main Camp
Friday, August 31st
Team White Practice, 8 a.m.
Goaltender Session, 9:30 a.m.
Team Black vs Team Gold, 10:30 a.m.
Tean Black Practice, 5 p.m.
Team White vs Team Gold, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 1st
Team Gold Practice, 8 a.m.
Team White vs Team Black, 9:30 a.m.
Intrasquad Game, 6 p.m.

Sunday, September 2nd
Intrasquad Game, 2 p.m.

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