Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Erkamps/Provorov is Wheat Kings' Production Pairing

Macoy Erkamps (left) and Ivan Provorov have been a very
productive defence pairing for the Wheat Kings this season.
  The Brandon continue to be one of the WHL's highest-scoring teams, and a big reason for the club's offensive success is the production they get from their blueline.

  Ivan Provorov and Macoy Erkamps have combined for 115 points so far this season, making them the highest scoring defence duo in the Western Hockey League.

  Erkamps is currently third in the WHL in defenceman scoring with 59 points while Provorov has 55 points to go along with a +44 rating.

  "In my case, I'm just trying to get the puck to him.  He's a special player, but I think we work real well together," said Erkamps, "We kind of know what we're thinking out there, especially on the offensive blue line and just passing it back and forth and getting shots through.  I think we've progressed throughout the whole year."

  The Erkamps/Provorov pairing is the highest scoring defence pair for the Wheat Kings since Burke Henry and Andre Lupandin combined for 151 points during the 1998-99 season.

  Erkamps has blown past his previous career high of 35 points, far exceeding any goals he had set for himself.

  "It's funny because Kelly (McCrimmon) at the end of last year at the year-end meeting that he wanted me to get 50 points, and I was thinking to myself that I don't know how that's possible," said Erkamps, "He had faith in me and all the staff had faith in me and I think that gave me a huge boost at the start of the year."

  Erkamps attended St. Louis' rookie camp last fall and played in the Traverse City Prospect Tournament.

  It'll be interesting to see if the 20-year old blueliner garners any interest as a free agent for NHL clubs, especially now that some of the WHL's top 20-year old players (Dryden Hunt, Jon Martin) have begun inking entry-level deals.

  Meanwhile, the Wheat Kings get back on home-ice Wednesday night when they entertain the Saskatoon Blades (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  Tyler Coulter takes an 11-game point-scoring streak into tonight's contest, and is one of just three WHL players with at least two double-digit point-scoring streaks this season.

  Brandon also got a bit of good news on the injury front yesterday as rookie forward Connor Gutenberg skated after practice.

  He's been sidelined since breaking his leg in a game on December 29th.

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