Saturday, 5 September 2015

Last Chance to Impress for BWK Prospects

Jeremy Klessens
  The Brandon Wheat Kings will bring the curtain down on their 2015 training camp on Sunday afternoon with their annual intrasquad game at Westman Communications Group Place (2:00 p.m.).

  It'll be the last chance for prospects to make an impression on the Wheat Kings' managements, scouting staff and coaches as they try to stick around for at least the WHL pre-season the next two weeks.

  One of the first-year players with a good chance to be in the Wheat City for at least the next couple of weeks is 2014 fourth round pick Jeremy Klessens.

  The 16-year old scored a pair of goals in the morning scrimmage on Saturday and hasn't looked out of place at main camp despite admitting that he was a little intimidated about being on the ice with Brandon's returning players early on.

  "(Saturday) was probably the day that it cracked open...I played better today than most games," said Klessens, "My defensive play has been stepping up lately."

  Klessens feels he's a defence-first kind of guy that looks for options once the puck is out of his own zone, but the Red Deer product also has a bit of an offensive element to his game.

  He scored 37 goals and 66 points in 32 games in the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League (AMMHL) last season while also playing for Team Alberta at the 2015 Canada Winter Games.

  The Wheat Kings are likely to keep 30-to-32 players around on their pre-season roster, and I asked Klessens what he felt he needed to do to be one of those players.

  "Probably just work hard every single shift, just don't take a shift off," said Klessens, "Make sure I'm always healthy, resting up for the next game and hopefully the day will go as planned."

  By the time Sunday's intrasquad game ends, Klessens and the rest of the prospects will have played six scrimmages, participated in two practices and played one intrasquad game since the Wheat Kings opened training camp on Wednesday morning.

Chaff...several of the Wheat Kings' returning players that are participating in training camp will leave early this week for NHL camps and/or prospect tournaments.  Among those leaving before the club's first pre-season game on Friday are G Jordan Papirny, F Rihards Bukarts and D Colton Waltz (Edmonton), D Macoy Erkamps (St. Louis), F Jayce Hawryluk (Florida), F Reid Duke (Minnesota) and F Tim McGauley (Washington)...McGauley and Tanner Kaspick had two goals each as Team Gold beat Team White 10-6 in the scrimmage Saturday morning...Saturday's night's scrimmage saw Kaspick have two goals and an assist as Team Gold beat Team White 6-4.


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