Friday, 14 September 2012

Meilleur Ready to Contribute More

Jens Meilleur
Jens Meilleur is expected to be in the Brandon Wheat Kings' lineup this weekend as the club resumes its pre-season schedule.

Meilleur missed all of training camp and the first two pre-season games while nursing a back injury and the third-year forward hopes he's getting his injury out of the way early.

Meilleur has missed significant time at the start of the season each of the last two years -- fracturing his hand in September of 2010 and breaking his wrist in September of last year.

"I try not to think about it...I just try to get out there and play my game," said Meilleur after Thursday's practice, "Last two years have been tough and this year, hopefully I've got my injury out of the way."

The 19-year old had five goals and 14 points in 57 games a year ago but as one of just five Brandon forwards with more than two years of WHL experience, he's expected to do more in 2012-2013.

"I'd like to take on more responsibility including putting that puck in the net and being a leader on and off the ice," said Meilleur, "We don't have the Stones or Ferlands this year so we're all going to have to contribute. We have a lot of young talent here and we have to outwork the other teams, that's what is going to put us on top."

20-year old defenceman Ryley Miller also practiced most of the week after missing ten days because of illness, 20-year old forward Dominick Favreau could make his pre-season debut this weekend after missing last week's games with a back injury and 16-year old rookie Jayce Hawryluk practiced in a no-contact jersey Thursday as he continues to make his way back from a concussion.

The Wheat Kings continue their pre-season schedule Friday night by hosting the Moose Jaw Warriors (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place) and will then conclude their pre-season by visiting Moose Jaw on Saturday.

Chaff...earlier this week, the Wheat Kings announced via their website that they've sold 2,282 season tickets for the upcoming season, down significantly from the close to 3,000 they sold a year ago...trade action in the WHL Thursday saw the Kelowna Rockets add two 20-year olds to their lineup, acquiring F Dylen McKinlay from the Kootenay Ice for a fifth round pick in the 2015 Bantam Draft and claiming J.T. Burnett off waivers from the Everett Silvertips...the Victoria Royals have dealt D Kade Pilton, 18, to the Regina Pats for F Demico Hannoun, 17, and a conditional third-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft...the Vancouver Giants will go with an all former Wheat King goaltending tandem of Liam Liston and Tyler Fuhr after assigning 16-year old Payton Lee to the PIJHL's Richmond Sockeyes earlier this week.

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