Friday, 19 September 2014

Papirny Has Lofty Goals

Jordan Papirny
  High expectations are hard to manage at times, but Brandon Wheat Kings' goaltender Jordan Papirny appears to be welcoming them.

  The 18-year old netminder returned to practice Wednesday after attending the Montreal Canadiens' rookie camp and is expected to start in the Wheat Kings' home opener Friday night against the Regina Pats.

  Prognosticators are assessing the Wheat Kings are being one of the favourites in the Western Hockey League's Eastern Conference, and Papirny feels they don't need to shy away from those expectations.

  "It would be stupid of us not to have the bar set high.  We've got a really good group and I'm really excited," said Papirny after Thursday's practice, "Just having a really tight group of guys makes it that much better...everyone gets along and it's great."

  Papirny had a solid rookie season with Brandon in 2013-2014, going 22-15-7 with a 3.28 goals against average and .900 save percentage.

  The 22nd overall pick in the 2011 Bantam Draft feels he can improve on those numbers, and he's determined to turn himself into one of the elite netminders in the WHL.

  "You know, it's the time and goal of being an elite goaltender in the league, working hard every day, working on those little things," said Papirny, who watched Curtis Honey start last year's home opener, "I think it's a good opportunity for me, especially with having a very good squad here.  I think one thing that's going to benefit me is having that confidence every night that I'm the guy."

  Papirny will be supported by 17-year old rookie Logan Thompson, a sixth round pick in the 2012 Bantam Draft.

  There's no doubt that the Edmonton product will be Brandon's #1 guy between the pipes, but Papirny feels it's important to be pushed and push himself every day.

  "At the end of the day, the mission never changes.  I'm still battling every night to get that start.  I don't want to start assuming things, I just want to go out and work hard every day and keep battling," said Papirny, "That's Logan's job is to push me, and I'm going to push him as well.  That's how a goalie tandem should work, and I want to play as many games as I can."

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