After finishing last season in the United States, Neepawa’s Quintin Lisoway hopes to spend this winter closer to home.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound centre, who turns 17 in November, has his sights set on Brandon as he attempts to earn a spot on the Western Hockey League’s Wheat Kings for the upcoming season.
"It’d be a dream come true," Lisoway said after taking part in his first Wheat Kings rookie camp scrimmage Wednesday morning at Westman Place. "(Being from Neepawa) I’m 45 minutes away. It’d be a great opportunity for my parents to come watch and everything, too. It’s a great league, a great league to get noticed by NHL scouts and pro scouts."
Lisoway started last season with the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Neepawa Natives before leaving the team and later joining the Omaha Lancers of the North American Prospects Hockey League’s 16-and-under division. He scored three goals in four regular-season games with the Lancers before adding three goals and an assist in four playoff contests.
He has performed well in the Wheat Kings’ spring prospects camp and rookie camp so far, although he was shut out in his team’s scrimmage victory yesterday, and Lisoway believes his game has improved since his first crack at making Brandon’s roster a year ago.
"I feel my speed’s picked up a little bit," said Lisoway, a former Yellowhead Midget AAA Chief who was chosen by the Wheat Kings in the ninth round of the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft. "I’ve picked up my physical play. I’m hoping that I can hold onto the puck a little bit more here and put some pucks in the net."
Lisoway’s physical game may have improved by osmosis after doing some skating over the summer with fellow Neepawa native Triston Grant, a rugged pro who has logged time in the National Hockey League with the Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville Predators.
"He’s just saying go hard," Lisoway recalls of Grant’s advice. "Just don’t stop working, that’s what he says."
LOCAL HOPEFULS: Lisoway is one of 10 local area products in camp who are eligible to make this year’s team and the only one who didn’t play in the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League last season.
Roblin native Jayce Hawryluk, a 16-year-old who was chosen in the second round of last year’s bantam draft, was a Parkland Rangers standout. Protected prospects Brett Kitt and Tyler Coulter, both entering their 16-year-old campaigns, played for the Brandon Midget AAA Wheat Kings last season, along with free-agent invitees Ty Webber and Brandon Switzer, who are going into their 17-year-old seasons.
Other free agents in camp trying to make the jump from Midget AAA include the Elkhorn duo of Brett Orr and Tanner Kyle, who played for Yellowhead last season, Tristan Mullin of Cartwright (Pembina Valley Hawks) and Tyler Ham of MacGregor (Central Plains Capitals). All four of those players will be 16 this season.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 30, 2012