Ty Lewis has been sidelined for the enter season after suffering a broken arm on the last day of the Wheat Kings' rookie camp in late August, and then re-injuring the limb about a month later and having it surgically repaired.
Lewis has been rehabbing the injury since, and took a big step forward in the rehab process recently.
"I got cleared to skate about a week ago, and it's kind of helping out. Just being able to be on the ice and start stickhandling again and starting to feel like you're a hockey player again," said Lewis earlier this week, "Just being on the ice is fun, and it's a lot better than sitting in the stands every day."
Lewis was Brandon's third round pick in the 2013 Bantam Draft and hoped to join fellow 16-year olds Nolan Patrick, Kale Clague and Tanner Kaspick in the Wheat Kings' lineup as soon as possible.
That is still likely at least a couple of weeks away, but the Brandon product can at least now see the light at the end of the tunnel.
"It's nice to get back on the ice and get skating again and try and get back into playing shape. It's been a long journey and I've had a lot of help with (Wheat Kings' strength and conditioning coach) Jim Frederickson, he's trying to keep me in shape as much as possible," said Lewis, "Everyone on the team has been great to me, the coaching staff has been great and that's made the whole process real easy."
Lewis had 28 goals and 57 points in 35 games last year with the Brandon AAA Midget Wheat Kings, but also missed time mid-season with a knee injury and broke his ankle during the playoffs.
Despite not stepping on Western Hockey League ice as of yet, Lewis feels he's absorbed a lot by simply watching and observing.
"Everybody in this league is a phenominal hockey player, phenominal skill and talent and just by watching, you can see that speed that you need to be at and the size you need to be to compete and battle is something I need to improve on," said Lewis, "Everyone on this team is a great player and just honoured to be here right now."
Lewis adds he knows it'll be a big jump from midget and he's doing his best to prepare for the situation and try to keep his head about him.