Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Daley Soaking Up Playoff Experience

Caiden Daley
  He hasn’t set foot on the ice in a playoff game, but this spring’s playoff run has provided some invaluable experience for Brandon centre Caiden Daley.

  The Wheat Kings’ first round pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft joined the team right before the start of their second round series against Moose Jaw and has been part of the club’s ‘taxi squad’ ever since.

  “It’s been an unbelievable experience for me, having the boys show me what to do, how you get prepared for playoff games,” said Daley on Monday, “I’m trying to keep a positive attitude for them.  I’m very happy how well they’ve played and where were are right now.  It’s a great situation and hope we can pull out these next couple of games.”

  Daley helped the Winnipeg Wild capture the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League title this season, scoring 21 goals and 45 points in 46 regular season and playoff games with the Wild and helping the team all the way to the Western Regional Telus Cup Final.

  He also saw action in five regular season games with the Wheat Kings just after Christmas, producing three assists in those handful of games.

  The 6-foot-0, 155 pound Daley says the experience he’s gaining now should ease his transition to the WHL on a full-time basis this fall.

  “Playing up to speed with bigger bodies and stronger guys, it’s just been a great help for me.  Hopefully next year I can bring what I’ve learned this year into the start of camp, crack the Wheat Kings and play full-time next year.”

  Daley is also spending plenty of time with Garrett Armour and Mark Matsuba, the other two members of Brandon’s taxi squad that do some extra work at practice in order to ‘stay ready’ in case they’re called upon to jump into the lineup.

  The Wheat Kings have been fortunate so far in the playoffs, and have been able to dress the same lineup for 12 straight games.

  It’ll likely be 13 in a row in Game Three of the WHL Championship Series Tuesday night against the Seattle Thunderbirds (8:40 p.m. CDT, 880 CKLQ).

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