Sunday, 29 December 2013

Campbell Hoping to Follow Calvert's Footsteps

Duncan Campbell
  Duncan Campbell finally got a chance to make his Western Hockey League debut on Saturday night.

  The 17-year old Brandon product has been with three WHL teams, going to training camp with the Prince George Cougars in 2011 and 2012 while on their protected list and also attending the Red Deer Rebels camp this year before eventually finding his way to the Wheat Kings’ camp in early September.
 
  The 6-foot-3, 187 pound Campbell says all of those experiences made him a better player, particularly the Brandon camp and subsequently being able to stick with the team through the pre-season.
 
  “Staying a little longer with Brandon really helped, I thought,” said Campbell after practicing with the Wheat Kings Sunday in Red Deer, “It took me to the next level, I knew what I had to do and I knew I had to play a better game so I just kind of took that and put it into my midget game.  It’s really helped, it’s showed on the scoreboard and I’m feeling a lot more dominant out there.”
 
  Campbell is leading the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League in scoring with 25 goals and 59 points in 29 games while helping Brandon to a 27-2-0-0 record and first-place in the league standings.
 
  2013-2014 is Campbell’s third year playing in the MMHL, something that doesn’t happen very often.
 
  However, former Wheat Kings’ co-captain Matt Calvert followed a similar route before becoming a dominant WHL player and moving on to the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets.
 
  Campbell says Calvert’s story is one that inspires him.
 
  “He decided to go back for a third year in midget.  People said he couldn’t make the WHL, but he knew he could, he kept working for it and that’s what I want to do,” said Campbell, “Obviously, he’s a smaller guy and I’m a bigger guy so it’s a little different that way.  I’ll do my third year of midget and, hopefully, I think I can do it next year, I think I can crack the squad.  Just working hard every day and definitely look up to him.”
 
  Campbell and his Brandon AAA Midget Wheat Kings’ teammate Tanner Kaspick will remain with the Wheat Kings for their Alberta road trip this week.
 
  Brandon returns to action Monday night when they visit the Red Deer Rebels (7:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ).
 
Chaff...the WHL is expected to rule on the length of Brandon forward Jayce Hawryluk’s suspension and if Wheat Kings’ F Richard Nejezchleb will be suspended on Monday morning.  Hawryluk has already sat out one game for a checking-from-behind major he received Friday while Nejezchleb was assessed a charging major in Saturday’s loss in Regina...Brandon F Jesse Gabrielle and Team West didn’t play Sunday at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Nova Scotia.  They’ll play Team Pacific in their first round-robin game on Monday...Wheat Kings’ F Braylon Shmyr and Team Pacific began their round-robin with a 4-3 loss to Quebec on Sunday.  Shmyr had an assist in the contest.
 

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