Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Walters One of Four Headed to NHL Camps

Nick Walters is headed to St. Louis' Rookie Camp (File Photo)
  Four members of the Brandon Wheat Kings are headed to National Hockey League camps this week including defenceman Nick Walters.

  Walters was a fourth round pick of St. Louis in the 2012 NHL Draft but didn't get a chance to participate in camp last fall because of the NHL lockout.

  "I'm exciting and nervous, but I think they're happy nerves and excited nerves," said Walters after Sunday's intrasquad game, "I'm just going to go down there, do the best I can, work as hard as I can, play my game and whatever happens is meant to be."

  Walters got a taste of pro life last spring, spending some time with the Blues' American Hockey League affiliate (at that time, Peoria) and even suiting up for a single contest.

  The 19-year old St. Albert, Alberta product says he found the experience very educational.

  "You have to do what you're there to do.  You got drafted for a certain reason ...certain attributes in your game," said the 6-foot-2, 202 pound Walters, "Guys like me, I'm probably not going to play in the NHL as a power-play specialist or anything like that.  I'm there to be a shutdown guy, kill penalties and block shots.  You have to know and understand that."

  Walters will spend the next couple of days in St. Louis before he and other Blues' prospects head to Traverse City for the annual rookie tournament.

  Walters will eventually return to Brandon and is expected to be a key component for a veteran-laden Wheat Kings' blueline.

  Acquired from Everett at the January 10th trade deadine last season, Walters is looking forward to starting the year in the Wheat City.

  "You know more of the guys, you know them on a more personal level and now that I'm a little older in this league, you have to be a leader," said Walters, "It starts with the older guys down.  I'm excited for the new start with the team, I think we're going to be a much better team than we were last year and that's a demand that us older guys have to have."

  Walters had nine assists and a -15 rating in 29 games after joining the Wheat Kings and finished 2012-2013 with one goal, 19 points and a -34 rating in 64 games between the Silvertips and Brandon.

  In addition to Walters, Ryan Pulock is headed to the New York Islanders Rooke Camp; Eric Roy is off to the Calgary Flames' Rookie Camp and Richard Nejezchleb is participating in the Pittsburgh Penguins' Rookie Camp.

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