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.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Hawryluk Pointless in Jr. Tuneup

  Frédérik Gauthier, Anthony Duclair and Haydn Fleury had a goal and an assist each to lead Canada past the Czech Republic 6-2 Tuesday in their opening game at the National Junior Team Summer Development Camp.

  Sam Reinhart, Curtis Lazar and Nick Paul also scored for Canada while Brandon Wheat Kings' forward Jayce Hawryluk was held off the scoresheet.

  The Roblin product played on a line with fourth overall pick Sam Bennett and Arizona Coyotes' 2014 first rounder Brendan Perlini during the contest.

  Elkhorn product Travis Sanheim and Winnipeg's Madison Bowey are the only other Manitobans at the camp, but neither played in Tuesday's contest.

  Canada will continue its series of exhibition games by playing Russia on Wednesday.


  Meanwhile, Hockey Canada named the Under-18 roster for the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament later this month on Tuesday.

  There are no Manitoba connections on the roster though it does include eight WHLers -- Seattle's Mathew Barzal and Ethan Bear, Red Deer's Adam Musil, Medicine Hat's Connor Hobbs, Prince George's Jansen Harkins, Kelowna's Nick Merkley, Victoria's Tyler Soy and Moose Jaw's Zachary Sawchenko.

  Canada will face the Czech Republic in a pre-tournament game in Breclav on Saturday before opening the tournament against Switzerland on Monday (August 11th).

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Roy's Status Uncertain for 2014-15

Eric Roy was instructing at the
Wheat Kings' Hockey School last week.
  Eric Roy still has a lot of uncertainty as he prepares for the 2014-2015 hockey season.

  The 20-year old defenceman could play professionally, but has yet to sign a contract with the Calgary Flames -- the team that chose him in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

  "Obviously, the goal of mine is to turn pro but you have to listen to what Calgary wants you to do," said Roy last week, "If I come back to Brandon, it'd be another great year for us and we're going to have a good team.  You have to go day-by-day...it would be good for my development to come back for another year."

  Roy got a taste of the pro game at the end of the last season, something he feels was pretty valuable to him.

  "I went up to Abbotsford for three weeks and it's way different than junior, that's for sure," said Roy, "It was a good learning experience for me.  Definitely after my second development camp (this past July), I felt a lot of confidence and it was a lot of fun."

  Roy, who had 11 goals and 44 points in 66 games with the Wheat Kings last season, has yet to sign a contract with the Flames but it's something he hopes will be taken care of this summer.

Chaff...the Regina Leader-Post reports that the Pats have hired Oak River product and former Wheat King John Paddock as their new head coach.  Paddock is expected to have a dual role with management powers, including hockey operations control...Wheat Kings' F Jayce Hawryluk is at Canada's National Junior Summer Development Camp this week, and will play in Tuesday's exhibition game against the Czech Republic.  Elkhorn product Travis Sanheim will not play.

Friday, 1 August 2014

First Round Pressure Benefitting Quenneville

John Quenneville (right) and Jesse Gabrielle pose with some of the
participants in the Wheat Kings' Hockey School this week
  John Quenneville's first taste of professional hockey was a good one.

  The New Jersey Devils' first round pick attended New Jersey's Development Camp last month, his first real stint with the organization since the NHL Draft in June.

  "It's kind of cool to see the way they do things, their policies, their mentally as an organization," said Quenneville, who has back in Brandon this week to instruct at the Wheat Kings' Hockey School, "It's kind of cool to get an orientation into that and how they runs things, so."

  The develpment camp not only included the Devils' recent draft picks, but also some players still on entry-level contracts that had some NHL and AHL games under their belts.

  "When you look at what it takes to be an NHL player, it takes so much hard work and dedication to be a professional athlete," added Quenneville, "I think I learned a lot of things, not just on the ice as far as being a hockey player, but what it takes as far as a lifestyle and what it takes to make it and stay there."

  The 6-foot-1, 185 pound Quenneville had 25 goals and 58 points in 61 games with the Wheat Kings during the 2013-2014 regular season while adding a team-high 13 points in nine games during the Western Hockey League playoffs.

  There's a certain amount of pressure that comes along with being a first round NHL draft pick, but Quenneville feels that pressure is a good thing for him.

  "Being a first round pick means a lot to me.  I what a goal I had set for a long time for myself.  I think it's a boost of confidence," said Quenneville, "I think confidence is everything for a hockey player, not too high, but for it to help me a little bit and made me feel a little bit better about myself, feel better about my game.  I think it's going to help me a lot."

  Quennville will spend the next few weeks preparing for the Wheat Kings' training camp, which begins August 27th, and then is headed back to New Jersey for their rookie camp in mid-September.

Chaff...the Ottawa Senators have promoted former Wheat Kings' head coach Bob Lowes to the role of chief amateur scout.  Lowes joined the Sens as a part-time amateur scout in 2006 and became a full-time scout in 2008.  Lowes spent nine seasons coaching the Wheat Kings from 1992 to 2001, with his 363 coaching wins ranking second in club history...the Lethbridge Hurricanes and former assistant coach Brad Lukowich have settled wrongful dismissal claim out of court.