Monday, 29 September 2014

Hawryluk, Quenneville Have Successful Returns

Jayce Hawryluk (left) and John Quenneville both returned
to the Wheat Kings' lineup this past weekend
  It was quite a return for Jayce Hawryluk and John Quenneville to the Brandon Wheat Kings' lineup over the weekend.

  Hawryluk had three goals, including two game-winning goals, and five points while Quenneville had a goal and four assists in leading the Wheat Kings to wins over Saskatoon and Swift Current on Friday and Saturday.

  Hawryluk was returned to the Wheat Kings from the Florida Panthers last week after attending his first NHL training camp.

  "I feel like I honestly just matured a lot as a player and as a person, being down there around those guys and seeing how they act, how they treat the younger guys and all that," said Hawyluk last week, "I feel like I can bring all that experience and bring it back here and be a good guy on the ice and off the ice."

  Hawryluk was Florida's second round pick (32nd overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft and played in his NHL pre-season game last Wednesday, a 4-3 shootout loss to Dallas during which he saw just over 11 1/2 minutes of icetime.

  "Playing against some stars of the league like Seguin and Benn all night was quite the experience," said Hawryluk, "I was a little nervous to start but I felt like after the first couple of shifts, are starting to settle in and get more confident and I feel like the game slowed down.  I really enjoyed, I had a great time...it was awesome."

  Quenneville, meanwhile, flew back to Brandon on Friday -- arriving just in time for the Wheat Kings' home game against Saskatoon.

  Quenneville was New Jersey's first round pick (30th overall) in the 2014 Draft and spent nearly two weeks in the Devils' training camp.

  "Got a chance to practice every single day with NHL players and learned a lot," said Quenneville, "There's a lot I can take from that and I'm excited to bring what I learned back to Brandon."

  Players attending NHL training camps for the first time usually come away with two things -- a feeling of how close they are to playing at the level, and what it'll take to get there.

  Quenneville was not different.

  "More than anything, it's a mental thing.  You need to think that you can play at that level, and that's the hugest thing," said Quenneville, "Just for me to get that kind of experience to see that they're really good players, but if I can put in the work and do what I need to do, someday I can play there with those guys."

  Hawryluk, Quenneville and the Wheat Kings are idle until Friday, when they'll host the Tri-City Americans.

  Here's interviews I did with Jayce Hawryluk and John Quenneville on the weekend about their NHL Training Camp experiences...

John Quenneville

Jayce Hawryluk

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