Thursday, 27 August 2015

Whaet Kings have Busy Summer with Hockey Canada

  It was a busy summer for several members of the Brandon Wheat Kings with Hockey Canada including GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon.

  McCrimmon is involved in the Program of Excellence for the first time in a coaching capacity, and was elevated to an assistant coaching role for Canada's national junior team in June after originally being named head coach for the Under-18 team for the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament that took place earlier this month.

  The Summer Development Camp in early August was McCrimmon's first chance to get an 'inside look' at Hockey Canada's World Junior operation.

  "It's amazing to watch how detailed, how organized the level of resources that they put behind those teams and those players is really neat to see," said McCrimmon this week, "You can always take away from those settings and learn things for your own organization."

  McCrimmon also feels that working with Hockey Canada coaching staff, including head coach Dave Lowry, will also help him develop even further as a coach.

  "To be with a staff like has been assembled for the World Junior team, working with the best players, the elite level players, I think is great experience and great opportunity and I really found it enjoyable," said McCrimmon.

  McCrimmon's responsibilities with the World Junior team will take him away from the Wheat Kings for about a month beginning in early December.

  How the Wheat Kings' coaching responsibilities will shake out in his absence hasn't been discussed specifically, but McCrimmon feels the club will be good hands with assistant coaches David Anning and Darren Ritchie while he's away from the team.

  While McCrimmon had his stint with Hockey Canada, two of the Wheat Kings' players were on the ice at the Summer Development Camp in Jayce Hawryluk and John Quenneville.

  Of course, Nolan Patrick, Kale Clague and Tanner Kaspick helped Canada's Under-18 team win gold at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament earlier this month while three Wheat Kings' prospects took part in the Under-17 camp in Stelio Mattheos, Ian Mitchell and Jarrod Gourley.

Chaff...one player who won't be at Wheat Kings' camp when it opens next week is Dylan Thiessen.  Brandon's fifth round pick in the 2013 Bantam Draft has committed to the NCAA's Mercyhurst Lakers beginning with the 2017-2018 season...Boissevain product Meyer Nell has decided not to return to the Red Deer Rebels for a third season and is headed off to the University of Manitoba.

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