Brayden Cullum leads the Westman High School Hockey League in scoring and helped Major Pratt win the Tier 2 Royal Oak Division championship in the Victoria Inn High School Hockey Tournament in Brandon on Sunday. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
Brayden Cullum has 17 points in 4 games. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
Brayden Cullum is looking at doing something his high-scoring brother Jordan never accomplished — win the Westman High School Hockey League’s scoring title.
The Cullum brothers have both been offensive threats in the league, with Jordan finishing second overall in league scoring during his senior season in 2011-12, with 59 points, including a league-leading 37 goals.
This year, Brayden Cullum is in his Grade 12 season and the Major Pratt Trojans right-winger is having his way with the scoresheet, notching nine goals and 17 points in just four games. The Russell native had a solid year last season as well, finishing in a tie for the league lead in goals with 21 and placing sixth overall in points with 37 and has set his sights on a scoring title.
While Cullum is proud of his start, he gives a lot of credit for his success to his linemates.
"Last year I was on a pretty good line with Brett Nahirniak and he was second in the league in scoring," said Cullum, who is on a line with Landyn Cochrane, who he’s been playing hockey with all his life, and Dylan Tanner. "I’ve been fortunate to play on a pretty good team all my high school career here. When you’re scoring lots of goals, it’s easy to chip in with points."
This season hasn’t been an easy one for the Trojans. They have had a lot of bad luck with injuries this season — with players going down with broken collarbones shoulder injuries and mononucleosis — and the Victoria Inn High School Hockey Tournament in Brandon over the weekend was the first time the team managed to put 13 skaters on the ice for a game. However, the Trojans have been pretty successful so far this season, winning the second-tier Royal Oak Division title on the weekend and sporting a perfect 4-0-0 record in league play.
The team has relied a little more on Cullum to find the back of the net during this stretch and the 5-foot-9, 165-pound 17-year-old has responded well and has become a leader on the team.
"He’s a huge leader," said Major Pratt head coach Greg Cochrane. "He competes every shift and he works really hard. He’s always supportive and we need him for sure. He’s a huge part."
This is a very important year for Cullum, and not just because it’s his last season of high school hockey.
Major Pratt is hosting the provincial AA high school hockey championship this year in Russell and the team is very motivated to have an impressive showing.
The Trojans weren’t happy to go 0-2 in the round robin last year before winning the provincial consolation title.
They were also disappointed to lose to the eventual league champion Crocus Plainsmen in the league semifinals and don’t want a repeat of either event this season.
"That will be huge (to host provincials)," Cullum said. "We’ve got the fan support behind us, so if there was a year to do it, we’ve got to do it now. … Obviously it’s a big year in your Grade 12 year. Just trying to do as best we can and hopefully win a championship or two."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 10, 2013