Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Buonassisi is now 'Mr. 300'

Nick Buonassisi says young players shouldn't take their
time in the WHL for granted
  Brandon Wheat Kings' forward Nick Buonassisi hit a significant milestone for his Western Hockey League career this past weekend, playing his 300th career game Sunday night in Medicine Hat.

  Buonassisi has travelled a lot of miles during his career, playing with Prince George for three-plus seasons, spending last year with Lethbridge and now playing in Brandon.

  "I was actually talking to (Wheat Kings' defenceman) Ryley Miller about that.  I went from some of the worst travel in PG to some of the best in Lethbridge to some of the worst again in Brandon," said Buonassisi, "It's been weird how that's worked out but I'm definitely used to it and it doesn't really bother me any more."

  Buonassisi, an 11th round pick of Prince George in the 2007 Bantam Draft, made his WHL debut on December 12, 2007 as a callup for the Cougars against the Medicine Hat Tigers.

  "I remember getting called up.  It was around Christmastime and I remember being excited and nervous," said Buonassisi, "It's a game I'll never forget.  It seems like just yesterday but it was five years ago -- it's pretty crazy."

  Three days later, on December 15, he scored his first WHL goal against the visiting Kamloops Blazers -- the 'Teddy Bear' goal for the Cougars that season.

  298 games later, Buonassisi has 15 goals and 155 points in his career including seven goals and 18 points in 30 games with Brandon this season.

  "I thing I try to teach the young guys here is to not take it for granted.  Your Western Hockey League career is the best time of your life and it flies -- I can't believe how fast it's gone," said Buonassisi, "It feels just like yesterday that I was breaking into the league and, now, I'm on my way out.  Just savor the moment because it really is the best time you'll have."

  Buonassisi is expected to honoured prior to Brandon's home game Friday against the Spokane Chiefs.

Chaff...F Jens Meilleur practiced without restrictions on Tuesday and is expected to return to the Wheat Kings' lineup this weekend.  Meilleur has missed the last eight games with a lower body injury...five other Wheat Kings remain sidelined including D Ryan Pulock, who practiced again Tuesday in a no-contact jersey.  Pulock has missed the last six games with an upper body injury...the WHL recognized a pair of Winnipeg products for their outstanding Novembers Tuesday, naming Portland's Brendan Leipsic Player of the Month and Calgary's Chris Driedger as Goaltender of the Month.

Jens Meilleur was back practicing with the Wheat Kings
on Tuesday

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