Thursday, 6 September 2012

Lindgren Among 13 Rookie Forwards Vying for Spot

Ryley Lindgren
It's the first chance to first-year players to make a game action impression tonight when the Brandon Wheat Kings open their Western Hockey League pre-season schedule by visiting the Regina Pats (7:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

The Wheat Kings should have a young lineup tonight, especially up front where 13 of the 20 forwards on their pre-season roster are first-year players.

Among them is Ryley Lindgren, who was a fifth round pick of Brandon in the 2011 Bantam Draft.

The East St. Paul, Manitoba product feels he's steadily improved since the start of training camp just over a week ago.

"To me, it's been a long week but I'm just getting better every week and I got my legs under me the first couple of days," said the 5-foot-10 1/2, 165 pound Lindgren after practice on Wednesday, "Now, I come to the rink focused every day and having the mentality of playing up with these guys."

Lindgren notched 14 goals and 27 points in 43 games in mainly a complimentary role with the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League champion Winnipeg Thrashers.

The 16-year old has already shown responsibility at both ends of the ice, something that often takes young players some time to adjust to.

"I've always just taken pride in having D first. I had a coach earlier (Jason Bower) in my Bantam years and even Pee Wee, and he really focused on D first and that's where it really developed," said Lindgren, "I like to think my offensive ability is pretty strong but I like to put the D first, and make sure I can work things out there and then get down in the offensive end."

Lindgren is one of four 1996-born forwards competing for a full-time roster spot with the Wheat Kings but that competition isn't preventing him from being a good teammate.

"You have to have that little balance," said Lindgren, "We're all trying to make the squad here but it's good, when we're on the ice, we're on the ice but when we're off the ice, we're bonding together because you hope to be teammates at the end."

In addition to his time with the Thrashers last season, Lindgren was an alternate captain with the Manitoba team that won a silver medal at the Western Canadian Under-16 Challenge Cup.

Chaff...D Ryley Miller (illness) sat out practice again on Wednesday and has been sidelined for nearly a week...tonight's pre-season game between the Wheat Kings and Pats will be broadcast on 880, CKLQ, starting with the pre-game show at 7:30 p.m. (CDT)...this Saturday is McWheat King Day, with Western Manitoba hockey fans invited to pay a visit to the Richmond Avenue McDonald's location to meet the players and get some autographs...the Victoria Royals have dealt F Justin Spagrud, 17, and a conditional second-round bantam draft pick to the Swift Current Broncos for the right F Evan Richardson, 18...the Calgary Hitmen have dealt D Keaton Lubin, 18, to the Regina Pats for a conditional sixth round pick in the 2014 bantam draft...former Wheat Kings' prospect Tyler Fuhr started for Vancouver and stopped 15 of 17 shots in the first 31 minutes in the Giants' 7-4 loss to Kamloops in pre-season action Wednesday night.

No comments: