Brandonite Shayne Wiebe is seen here in action for the Winnipeg Jets during last year’s rookie tournament in Penticton, B.C. (FILE PHOTO)
Brandon’s Shayne Wiebe will join the exodus of local professional players on Friday when he flies out for an American Hockey League tryout.
The 22-year-old former Brandon Wheat Kings captain has a professional tryout agreement with the AHL’s Connecticut Whale, but failing that has also signed an ECHL contract with the Greenville Road Warriors. Wiebe will be one of 39 players who will begin camp with the Whale on Sunday in Tarrytown, N.Y.
"I’m pretty excited about it," said Wiebe, who has been skating in Brandon with a number of other local pro players getting set for AHL and ECHL camps. "I’m going down to Connecticut first for their AHL camp and then whatever happens, hopefully I will stay there and if not, I will go down to Greenville."
Wiebe, who played for both the Wheat Kings and the Kamloops Blazers during his four-year WHL career, first joined Connecticut at the end of his 20-year-old season in the spring of 2011, playing one AHL game. Wiebe then signed a minor-league contract to play in the Winnipeg Jets’ organization, attending Jets rookie camp before joining the St. John’s IceCaps and notching four assists in 12 AHL games prior to being released.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound left-winger moved on to the CIS ranks, joining the No.1-ranked University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds after the Christmas break. He fired five goals and notched 12 points and 24 penalty minutes with a +7 plus/minus rating in 11 Atlantic conference games. Wiebe then added three goals and eight points in six playoff games to help the Varsity Reds clinch the Atlantic conference title, but had to sit out the University Cup national championship after suffering an ankle injury.
With the NHL lockout putting the squeeze on available roster spots at the minor pro level this season, Wiebe is happy to have both AHL and ECHL opportunities available to him this season.
"I think everyone is affected because there is going to be a trickle-down effect of players coming down from the NHL that are on two-ways (contracts) to play in the AHL, so it does make things kind of tough," he said.
ICINGS: The Syracuse Crunch officially signed Tampa Bay Lightning D Keith Aulie, a former Brandon Wheat Kings captain, to an AHL contract Tuesday ... In addition to Wiebe, Nesbitt native Ashton Rome (Greenville), Waywayseecappo’s Chris Cloud (Ontario Reign) and former Wheat Kings Daniel Tetrault (Evansville Icemen) and David Toews (Bakersfield Condors) have signed ECHL deals over the past few days. Earlier this month, Kory Karlander, a 40-year-old Melita native, re-signed with the ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings ... Former Wheat Kings Tyler Dittmer and Matt Lowry have been named alternate captains with the University of Manitoba Bisons hockey team ... As first reported by the Brandon Sun earlier this month, former Wheat Kings G Tyler Plante is one of four goaltenders on the training camp roster for the IceCaps. While most AHL clubs are starting their training camps this weekend, the IceCaps will hit the ice for the first time on Monday in Corner Brook, N.L.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 26, 2012