Friday, 1 February 2013

Walters Says Staying Positive Key

Nick Walters stretches at the end of Thursday's Wheat Kings' practice
The Brandon Wheat Kings will be out to break a three-game losing streak when they visit the Regina Pats on Friday night (6:35 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

Friday's game will be the tenth for defenceman Nick Walters since joining the Wheat Kings in a trade deadline deal with the Everett Silvertips on January 10th.

"I think I'm playing alright. We're struggling a little bit but I think that we have a good start and a good group of guys in here," said Walters after Brandon's practice on Thursday, "I'm excited to see where this team goes in the last 20 games and next year."

Walters has three assists and a minus-four rating in nine games with the Wheat Kings, pushing his season totals to one goal and 13 points in 44 contests.

He adds his role in Brandon hasn't changed a lot from his role in Everett, although there have been some subtle adjustments in some of the systems the Wheat Kings use.

Meanwhile, the Wheat Kings (18-30-2-2) are 13 points out of a playoff spot in the WHL's Eastern Conference and are in danger of missing the post-season party for the first time in 13 years.

While that's obviously disappointing to everyone in the organization, Walters says his experience is that maintaining a positive outlook is vital.

"I've been doing this pretty much since I got into junior hockey, this rebuild, so I'm pretty used to it," said Walters, who played on Everett teams that finished with 28 and 22 wins in his first two WHL seasons, "You have to stay positive, don't have a negative energy, good body position, posture, you don't want to be a down person, you just want to have lots of energy, bring that energy up in the room and just try and stay positive with everything that's going on."

The St. Louis Blues' draft pick added that having a goal of improving every game or every practice is also something the team should be striving for.

"You want to have team success, but with team success comes individual success," said Walters, "If you do the little things that the coaches ask you, then you'll find individual success."

Chaff...Upon further review, you can knock one off Brandon's power-play goalless streak. The club is goalless in their last 29 chances, not 30 as indicated in Wednesday's game story...D Ryan Pulock, D Tyler Yaworski and F Jason Swyripa were among the walking wounded that missed practice Thursday while F Jayce Hawryluk left halfway through...F Richard Nejezchleb (lacerated hand/thumb) skated after practice yesterday but is still believed to be at least a couple of weeks away from returning to the lineup...G Corbin Boes (knee) and F Tyrel Seaman (concussion) are the other long-term Brandon injured players...Brandon product Joel Edmundson of the Kamloops Blazers has been suspended for four games by the WHL after being assessed a checking to the head major in Wednesday's loss to Portland. He'll be eligible to return to the Blazers' lineup on February 13.

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