Friday, 13 September 2013

Thom Pushing for Roster Spot

Dominic Thom
  The Brandon Wheat Kings continue their pre-season schedule Friday night as they host the Regina Pats (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  Among the players will looking to earn a full-time roster spot is 17-year old defenceman Dominic Thom, who is one of only two rookie blueliners remaining with the Wheat Kings.

  Overall, Brandon has ten defencemen on their pre-season roster but Ryan Pulock, Eric Roy and Nick Walters are away at NHL camps and 15-year old Kale Clague is ineligible to play full-time in the WHL this season.

  That means Thom and fellow rookie Riley Van Horne will likely get a long look this weekend.

  "It's going to be a competition for a job back there, especially with those three guys coming back," said the 6-foot-2 1/2, 186 pound Thom, "I just have to go out there and do everything that I can to make it stand out to them and to show them that I'm not a defensive liability."

  Thom had an assist and was +1 in his pre-season appearance a week ago and also played one pre-season game with Brandon last September before being re-assigned.

  The Calgary product feels he's improved a lot in the last 12 months.

  "I think just my quickness of play, and my skating definitely.  I've been working with Scott Atkinson (Edge School for Athletes) over the summer in Calgary and he's worked with me pretty much for my whole life, and we really got my feet going," said Thom, "It's making that quick play because, here, you don't really have the time if you don't have the puck."

  Overall, the Wheat Kings have 30 players remaining on their pre-season roster including 18 forwards.

  Richard Nejezchleb is expected to see his first action of the pre-season this weekend after attending the Pittsburgh Penguins rookie camp and playing in a Prospects Tournament in London, Ontario earlier this month.

  Jayce Hawryluk is nursing a shoulder injury and hasn't practiced this week, meaning he's probably out for the weekend.

Chaff...the Canadian Hockey League released its pre-season Top Ten rankings Thursday with four WHL teams making the grade.  Portland was third, Prince Albert fourth, Edmonton ninth and Kootenay tenth.

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