Thursday, 11 February 2016

Kaspick Closing In on Return

Tanner Kaspick practiced without restrictions for the
second straight day on Thursday.
  Tanner Kaspick is close to returning to the Brandon Wheat Kings' lineup, and he could be back Friday night when the Wheat Kings host the Saskatoon Blades (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  The second-year forward has been sidelined since December 19th with an upper body injury but has practiced without restrictions the last two days.

  "A return is near, for sure.  Still not 100 per cent sure when that's going to be," said Kaspick this week, "I'm just trying to get prepared for as soon as possible and make sure I can come back and contribute to the team."

  Kaspick was having a solid 2015-2016 campaign with the Wheat Kings before the injury, scoring ten goals and 17 points in 35 games including five goals and ten points in the last 14 games he played before the injury happened.

  "I thought my play was solid, I thought I was really focused on being a consistent, reliable guy and I think I really was for our forward group," said Kaspick, "That's something I  just want to continue to do upon my return.  I have every expectation to be as good as I was before the injury, and maybe even better."

  Kaspick was ranked 76th among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Service's midterm rankings last month, and hopes to finish his draft-year season on a strong note.

  "When the injury happened, there was nothing I could do about it other than try to use it to my advantage and really capitalize on the rest at the start, and then try to get in better shape than I was before the injury and I think I've done that," said Kaspick, "I think I've really prepared myself, and I have every intention of coming back and playing an increased role in this last bit of games here."

  The Wheat Kings are looking to bounce back Friday night after a disappointing effort in Tuesday's loss to Prince Albert.

  Brandon will enter the game with a six-point lead over the second-place Raiders in the East Division standings, and sitting four points behind Lethbridge and one point behind Red Deer in the race for the Eastern Conference pennant.

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