Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Matsuba Accomplishes Step One

Mark Matsuba
  Practicing on Tuesday was step one for Brandon Wheat Kings' prospect Mark Matsuba.

  Matsuba is one of 17 rookies remaining on the club's pre-season roster, and the only 16-year old defenceman.

  "It's really exciting, actually.  I worked hard all summer and I guess it paid off," said Matsuba after practice on Tuesday, " Coming into this week, I'm hoping to leave a good impression on the coachs for next year, and take it from there."

  Matsuba was a fourth round pick of Brandon in the 2012 Bantam Draft.

  The 5-foot-11, 180 pound product of Spruce Grove, Alberta had three goals and nine points in 26 games with the St. Albert Flyers of the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League last season.

  "I guess I'm kind of a role player," said Matsuba, "I can be offensive sometimes, I guess, and a defensive presence."

  The next step for Matsuba will be to see action in the Western Hockey League pre-season, which could happen as early as this weekend.

  "That'll be a really good learning experience, if I do make it that far," said Matsuba, "I'll be just like a sponge, soaking everything in, so."

  Three of the 11 defenceman on Brandon's pre-season roster are away at NHL Camps this week (Ryan Pulock, Eric Roy and Nick Walters), meaning there's a good chance Matsuba will see some action.

  The Wheat Kings' first pre-season game is Friday against Moose Jaw (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

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