Thursday, 20 September 2012

McGauley Set to Contribute

Tim McGauley
  Tim McGauley got a taste of the Western Hockey League last season, and he liked it.

  The 17-year old centre saw action in 14 games with the Brandon Wheat Kings last year but spent most of the season with Notre Dame of the Saskatchewan AAA Midget Hockey League, scoring 29 goals and 53 points in 41 games with the Hounds.

  McGauley feels the extra year of midget hockey helped him regain his scoring touch, and he feels much more comfortable jumping into the WHL this season.

  "After last year's midget, I definitely feel like I can come in here and contribute," said McGauley earlier this week, "I think last year, going down to midget was really a great thing for me and was a great choice by Kelly (Wheat Kings' GM McCrimmon) because I really got my scoring touch back...it was a big confidence boost and everything.  I really think I can come up here and make a difference."

  McGauley played both games with Brandon on opening weekend last year, three games right after Christmas and nine more as a affiliate player after re-joining the team in late February.

  He feels that little bit of experience will be invaluable to him as he prepares to begin his official rookie season.

  "It was a big help, big experience.  I just got a lot more comfortable around the league, the players and the speed," said the 6-foot-0, 180 pound McGauley, "The talent is a lot higher so to come up at the end of the year was a big thing for me."

  McGauley was Saskatoon's first round pick (20th overall) in the 2010 Bantam Draft and was acquired by the Wheat Kings in January of 2011 as part of the package for Brayden Schenn.

  Normally, there's pressure on top picks to become key contributors but McGauley is taking it all in stride.

  "I'm just like everybody else, at the end of the day I'm a hockey player.  Whether I'm a first rounder or didn't get drafted at all, I have to put in the same effort on the ice and off the ice," said McGauley, "Hard work, keep everything out of hockey out of my way, just focus on hockey and get going."

Chaff...F Jayce Hawryluk (concussion) skated in a no-contact jersey during practice yesterday...-a trio of Wheat Kings were among the WHL players identified by the NHL Central Scouting Service in its preliminary rankings.  Ryan Pulock is among the seven skaters on the A list while Eric Roy is on the B List and Ayrton Nikkel is on the C List.  All three are eligible for next June's NHL Draft...the WHL has enhanced its penalties to try and curb staged fighting.  Beginning this season, players who engage in fisticuffs immediately after any faceoff will be given game misconducts along with fighting majors.

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