Friday, 28 September 2012

Hawryluk Anxious for WHL Debut

Jayce Hawryluk
  Jayce Hawryluk could make his long-awaited Western Hockey League debut this weekend.

  The Roblin product has been practicing without restrictions this week as he makes his away back from a concussion.

  "It's been a long time, waiting for it forever," said Hawryluk after practice on Thursday, "Hopefully, this weekend is the big day.  I'm excited."

  The 16-year old Hawryluk suffered the concussion in Brandon's intrasquad game September 2nd and missed the entire pre-season and the first week of the regular season.

  He's been able to watch a handful of games from the stands and says that's actually helped him get an idea of what playing in the WHL might be like.

  "The pace of the hockey is way different than what I'm used to and the style is super fast," said Hawryluk, "You have to have your head up all the time, head on a swivel and smarts plays all the time.  You have to be aware of your surroundings at all times."

  Hawryluk was Brandon's second round pick in the 2011 Bantam Draft and lit up the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League last season, scoring 31 goals and 67 points in 40 games with the Parkland Rangers.

  Even with those lofty numbers, Hawryluk says he knew to the jump to the WHL was a difficult one so he prepared himself in the off-season with the help of a couple of Wheat Kings' veterans.

  "I knew I had to start training because all the years before, I just had a good summer, enjoying myself and not training hard at all," said the 5-foot-10, 186 pound Hawryluk, "This summer, I spent the summer in Brandon and trained hard with Ryan Pulock and Jens Meilleur and looked up to them, in a way, to put myself in their shoes and know that's what I have to do to be in the Western Hockey League."

  The Wheat Kings look to run their season-opening winning streak to four games Friday night when they open a two-game Saskatchewan road trip in Swift Current (7:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

Chaff...F Geordie Maguire also practiced without restrictions Thursday and could be back in the lineup after missing one game with a lower body injury...D Ryan Pulock (1 G, 6 A), F Jens Meilleur (3 G, 2 A) and F Nick Buonassisi (2 G, 3 A) are all on three-game point scoring streaks to open the regular season...the Wheat Kings went 6-1-1-0 in eight meetings against Swift Current during the 2011-2012 season including a 3-1-0-0 record at the Credit Union I-Plex.

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