The 21-year old blueliner has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators earlier this week, with the NHL club making the announcement Friday morning.
“If you look at my career, I think there’s been a lot of ups-and-downs. Ever since I got to Brandon, I fell in love with the city and the team and I think that helped me to take steps in the right direction,” said Erkamps on Friday, “This year, playing with a guy like Ivan Provorov, has given me a lot of confidence and I think my game has been taken to the next level.”
Erkamps finished second in defenceman scoring this season with 71 points, and his +47 rating was tied for fourth-best in the Western Hockey League.
The 6-foot-0, 198 pound Erkamps attended the St. Louis Blues’ rookie camp last fall, playing in the Traverse City Prospect Tournament before returning to the Wheat Kings.
That brief exposure to the pro game gave the Delta, B.C. product confidence he could play at the next level.
“I think it started in that camp, coming out of it having confidence but I think, with each game, I tried taking a step in the right direction,” said Erkamps, “By the end of the year, I had a boatload of confidence...more than I’ve every had.”
The 6-foot-0, 198 pound Erkamps was also named Brandon’s most community-minded player, most inspirational player and top graduating player at their year-end awards.
Erkamps had 188 points in 341 career regular season games over a five-year career in the WHL, with the 341 games played tied for 35th-most in WHL history.
“I can’t thank my teammates enough, I can’t thank my coaches enough, the whole organization, my family, my friends,” added Erkamps, “It’s been a great season this year and a great experience.”
The deal with the Sens doesn’t impact his current status, as he’ll remain with Brandon for the rest of the post-season.