Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Clague Enjoying Playoff Success

Kale Clague
  It's been a fairly successful playoff run for Wheat Kings' defenceman Kale Clague, one he hopes will last a while longer.

  Clague is currently tied for second in defenceman scoring in the WHL with nine points in the post-season after scoring 32 points and going +21 in 36 regular season games after the Christmas break.

  "I think it was good to get my mind away from it a bit and re-focus for the second half.  With the guys being gone for World Juniors and a couple of us having to step up for 12 games, I think that helped get some confidence," said Clague recently, "I think it was just a matter of keeping working, staying with it and it finally came around and I started to play well."

  Clague's strong second half also came after Colton Waltz's abrupt departure from the team at the Christmas break, and his eventual trade to Saskatoon for a package that included 20-year old blueliner Mitch Wheaton.

  Wheaton was immediately instilled as Clague's partner, and it's a partnership that has proved to be very beneficial to the Lloydminster product.

  "I think we compliment each other's games.  I think he's a defensive guy that moves the puck and is steady," said Clague, "I think I'm an offensive guy so I think it compliments nice.  I know if I jump up, he'll be staying back for me to help out so it works out nice."

  Clague was 27th among North American skaters in the final rankings for the 2016 NHL Draft by the Central Scouting Service that were released earlier this month.

  He feels playing deep into the playoffs will give NHL scouts a better chance to assessing what he brings to the table.

  "I think we have a team that's going to go far, and I think there's a lot of hockey to be played yet," said Clague, "I didn't really look too much into because I'm worried about the playoffs right now, but I'm hoping to go up after the playoffs."

  Clague and fellow draft prospect Tanner Kaspick being selected in the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo in late June would extend Brandon's streak of having a player chosen in the NHL Draft in 12 consecutive years.

Chaff...in addition to Clague and Kaspick, the CSS rankings included Brandon product Jordy Stallard of the Calgary Hitmen at #65 among North American skaters while Ryan Lindgren and Wade Allison, two Brandon draft picks, were #49 and #62 respectively.

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