Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Taylor Green faced his former Seattle Thunderbirds teammates for the first time last night. (FILE PHOTO)
Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Taylor Green got a look into the past Tuesday night with a visit back to the arena where his Western Hockey League career started.
Tuesday’s game — which was in progress at press time — was the first in the Seattle suburb of Kent for the 18-year-old from Port Coquitlam, B.C., since the Thunderbirds traded him to the Wheat Kings in August. The Wheat Kings only visit U.S. Division teams once every two years, so it’s a game Green was looking forward too, although he didn’t want to let the reunion overshadow the task at hand.
"I had some pretty good friendships there," he said. "But obviously you want to keep it business-like."
Green lived up to his words during the second period when he dropped the gloves for a fight with former teammate and Seattle captain Justin Hickman.
Chosen in the second round (26th overall) of the 2010 WHL bantam draft by Seattle, Green made brief appearances with the T-Birds in each of the following two seasons before finally becoming a regular in the lineup in 2012-13, playing 65 games as a rookie. Having a year of experience playing in the U.S. Division, Green has passed on what he learned to his new teammates.
"You don’t play those teams very much (as an East Division team) so obviously I can kind of help guys out here, provide a little insight," said Green, who entered Tuesday with one assist, 15 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -8 as a Wheat King. "I played those teams nine, 10 times last year."
While the Wheat Kings went into Tuesday’s game at 7-7-0-0 as they try to move up after finishing last in the Eastern Conference standings last season, the Thunderbirds are also a team on the rise. After finishing 14 games under .500 during Green’s rookie season, Seattle is battling for first place in the tightly packed Western Conference and the overall standings this season with a 10-3-0-2 record entering the contest versus the Wheat Kings.
"It’s interesting," Green said of the T-Birds’ revival. "Obviously I was happy to be moved to Brandon and (the Thunderbirds are) having a good year, so good for them. But I’m pretty focused on what’s going on here and getting our points."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 30, 2013