Friday, 29 August 2014

Shearer Looking to Get Noticed

Brandon product James Shearer (in white) is
one of four unlisted players remainin in the
Wheat Kings' training camp.
  The Brandon Wheat Kings wrapped up their Rookie Camp on Thursday night, and their Main Camp gets underway Friday.

  50 players will participate in Main camp, with the 16 returnees being joined by 34 rookies, prospects and unlisted free agents.

  Among those remaining in camp is defenceman James Shearer, who was originally drafted by Calgary in the 2012 Bantam Draft and had gone to the Hitmen's training camp the past two years.

  "I want to come out here and try to play my game, work on my games, stay focused, have fun with the guys," said Shearer on Thursday, "Obviously, I want to try and get noticed and try to do my best out here and play my best and whatever happens, happens."

  Shearer had 15 goals and 54 points in 44 games with the Brandon AAA Midget Wheat Kings last season and also played five games with the MJHL's Steinbach Pistons.

  Normally, there aren't a lot of expectations for the 17-year old unlisted player in a WHL Training Camp, but Shearer says he has some expectations of his own he wants to meet.

  "There's always going to be expectations.  I have my own expectations that I want to meet and surpass them even and other people have expectations that they think I should meet as well," said Shearer, "Those are my goals and I kind of strive for those and hope to do my best."

  Shearer is one of 15 defencemen still in camp with Brandon.

  Among the others is 19-year old Michael Mylchreest, who spent two seasons with the WHL's Prince George Cougars before spending last season with Springfield in the North American Hockey League.

  Thursday night's rookie camp scrimmage saw Nolan Patrick set up three goals to lead Team White to a 6-4 victory over Team Black.

  2013 third round pick Ty Lewis left Thursday's game with an apparent arm injury, while two other rookies missed time on Thursday.

  Tanner Kaspick sat out the evening scrimmage with a hip flexor and Tristen Elder did not participate Thursday because of a shoulder injury.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Dechaine Looking to Impress, Again

Josh Dechaine
  The Brandon Wheat Kings' training camp is a lot different for goaltender Josh Dechaine this year than it was 12 months ago.

  The 16-year old St. Albert, Alberta product attended Brandon's 2013 camp as an unlisted free agent and played his way onto the Wheat Kings' protected list.

  "I want to come here and make my mark, I want to do a good job coming here and make a tough decision for the coaches," said Dechaine, "I know there's a spot there so I hope to make my mark out here and hope to go far."

  Dechaine is one of three netminders at rookie camp that are vying for the backup spot behind returning Wheat Kings' goaltender Jordan Papirny, with 17-year olds Logan Thompson and Evan Robert also in the mix.

  "Right now, I'm just going day-by-day, skate-by-skate and shot-by-shot," said Dechaine, "Just kind of making it there, I guess."

  The 6-foot-1, 170 pound Dechaine played with the St. Albert Flyers in the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League in 2013-2014, compiling an 8-5-4 record with a 2.42 goals against average and .924 save percentage in 1,018 minutes played.

  2014 Bantam Draft picks Hunter Arps and Justin Klassen are the other two netminders at rookie camp for the Wheat Kings.

  Neither of them is eligible to play full-time in the Western Hockey League this season.

Chaff...Papirny has been invited to the Montreal Canadiens' rookie camp next month after impressing at the Habs' Development Camp in July...Brandon's rookie camp concludes Thursday night with a scrimmage a 6 p.m. at Westman Communications Group Place.  Main camp begins on Friday morning.

Thiessen Getting Name Out

Dylan Thiessen had a goal and an assist for Team Black
in Wednesday's scrimmage at Wheat Kings' Rookie Camp
  When you're drafted behind Nolan Patrick, Kale Clague and Tanner Kaspick, it's not difficult to fly under the radar.

  Winnipeg product Dylan Thiessen is hoping to chance that his week.

  Brandon's fifth round pick in the 2013 Bantam Draft took to the ice Wednesday along with 46 other prospects (28 forwards, 14 defencemen and five goaltenders in total) as the Wheat Kings opened their 2014 Training Camp.

  "That was a really good draft year, and it's hard to get my name in there sometimes," said Thiessen, "I worked my best to get seen, play hard out here to get my name in there."

  The 6-foot-0, 185 pound Thiessen had a goal and an assist in the first scrimmage of Wheat Kings' Rookie Camp Wednesday night although his squad fell 5-4 in a shootout to Team White.

  Last year, Thiessen scored 17 goals and 41 points with the Winnipeg Wild, helping the club capture the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League title.

  "I had a good year myself, and my team did well," said Thiessen, "I'm happy with how I did and happy to get going next year.  I worked hard this summer, I'm prepared.  I'm kind of use to it now, I'm not as nervous as I was before.  I prepared a lot this summer."

  Thiessen also played with Manitoba at the Under-16 Western Challenge Cup last fall, scoring one goal and two points in four games in helping Manitoba to a bronze medal finish.

  The Wheat Kings' Rookie Camp continues Thursday with scrimmages scheduled for 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Chaff...Duncan Campbell had the shootout winner for Team White in Wednesday's scrimmage, with Stelio Mattheos scored twice in regulation.  James Shearer and MacKenzie Welke also scored for White while Kaspick, Connor Gutenberg and Bradly Goethals had the other Team Black goals.  Logan Thompson and Justin Klassen combined to stop 33 of 37 shots for the winners while Evan Robert, Josh Dechaine and Hunter Arps teamed up to stop 40 of 44 in the Black net.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Wheat Kings' Training Camp Opens

The first overall pick in the 2014 Bantam Draft, Stelio Mattheos,
was among the players weighing-in during rookie
registration Tuesday night.
  The Brandon Wheat Kings have officially gotten their 2014 training camp underway.

  About 45 first-year players reported Tuesday night and hit the ice Wednesday morining while returning players began their fitness testing Tuesday.

  Among the rookies hoping to stick around is defenceman Mark Taraschuk, who know's this year's training camp will be a lot different for him than the previous two he's attended.

  "This is the year where I came prepared, put the effort in all summer and skated and worked out every day." said Tarachuk on Tuesday, "I'm in Brandon and I don't plan to go home.  This is one thing I want and this is one thing that's going to happen."

  Taraschuk is one of the candidate to fill a spot on the Wheat Kings' blueline this year.

  A sixth round pick in 2012 Bantam Draft, Taraschuk had nine goals and 38 points in 43 regular season games with the MMHL champion Winnipeg Wild last season while adding four goals and nine points in 11 playoff games.

  The 17-year old Winnipeg product feels consistency will be a key for him during training camp.

  "I think that I have to put the effort in shift-in and shift-out and just do the little things that make it happen," said Taraschuk, "Find your guy in the D-Zone and, when you get a chance, put the puck in the net."

  Meanwhile, ten players chosen by Brandon in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft are participating in their first fall training camp with the Wheat Kings including goaltender Hunter Arps, Brandon's fifth round pick.

  "I'm going to try the best I can and make the most out of things," said Arps, who's expected to play this season with the SMAAAHL's Moose Jaw Generals, "I'm going to try real hard and see if I can make it to the final games."

  Also fueling Arps this fall is the fact he was stricken with illness during the Wheat Kings' Development Camp in the spring and was unable to participate over the final two days.

  Among the players who didn't report for camp was 2013 fourth round pick T.J. Brown, who's currently in camp with the AJHL's Camrose Kodiaks.

  U.S. College committed prospects like Wade Allison, Colt Conrad and Ryan Lindgren also did not report for the rookie portion of training camp.

Chaff...Westman products Landon Cross and Landon Peel have both been placed on the suspended list by the WHL's Kootenay Ice.  The duo did not report to the Ice's training camp this week, with Kootenay GM Jeff Chynoweth saying both players expressed a desire to play their 20-year old seasons with teams in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.  Chynoweth says Cross and Peel have been suspended for not reporting to camp and not fulfilling the 20-year old year of their WHL standard contract.

Wheat Kings' Training Camp Schedule

Rookie Camp
Wednesday August 27th
Team White Practice, 8:30 a.m.
Team Black Practice, 10 a.m.
Team White vs. Team Black, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday August 28th
Team White vs. Team Black, 10 a.m.
Goalie Session, 12:30 p.m.
Team White vs. Team Black, 6 p.m.
   
Main Camp
Friday August 29th
Team White Practice, 8 a.m.
Goalie Session, 9:30 a.m.
Team Black vs. Team Gold, 10:30 a.m.
Team Black Practice, 5 p.m.
Team White vs. Team Gold, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday August 30st
Team Gold Practice, 8 a.m.
Team White vs. Team Black, 9:30 a.m.
Intra-squad Game, 6 p.m.

Sunday August 31st
Intra-squad game, 2 p.m.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

ICYMI, Boutin Dealt to Blades

(Courtesy www.wheatkings.com)

With Training Camp less than three weeks away, the Brandon Wheat Kings have announced that they’ve traded right-winger Dakota Boutin to the Saskatoon Blades in exchange for a conditional fourth round pick in the 2015 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.

A former third round pick (50th overall) of the Wheat Kings in 2012, Boutin scored five goals and 13 points for the National Midget Champion Prince Albert Mintos last season. He also played one game with the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Melfort Mustangs.

“We're proactively trying to manage a logjam at the forward position," says Wheat Kings coach and general manager Kelly McCrimmon. “ We have a number of returning forwards, and a number of rookies that will battle for roster spots. This will help alleviate the problem.”

“Dakota is a good young player that will get an opportunity in Saskatoon,” McCrimmon went on to say.

Brandon opens camp later this month at Westman Communications Group Place and will kick off its pre-season schedule on Friday, September 5th against the visiting Regina Pats.