First-round pick Braylon Shmyr races up ice at Westman Place Friday night. (COLIN CORNEAU/THE BRANDON SUN)
Count Braylon Shmyr’s first impression of Brandon and the Wheat Kings as a good one.
The Western Hockey League club’s first-round pick (12th overall) in last month’s bantam draft, took part in his first team function on Friday as the Wheat Kings opened their annual prospects camp at Westman Place.
"As soon as I walked in, I was like ‘Holy cow, this is going to be a good experience,’" Shmyr grinned after his first skate on Friday evening.
The 15-year-old centre was fourth in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League in scoring last season, amassing 38 goals and 31 assists in 33 games for the Calgary Bisons.
At 5-foot-8, 130 pounds, Shmyr tested his skills against a number of bigger and more experienced prospects, with some of them up to two years older, and a couple of Wheat Kings veterans to boot.
"Everyone out there is pretty good," Shmyr said. "I’m just trying to match up to that."
Shmyr plans to hit the weight room hard this summer to build up his strength, while also putting in some on-ice work to improve his agility.
Not eligible to play full-time in the WHL until 2013-14, he will try out for the AAA Midget Calgary Buffaloes in the coming season.
CAMP STORIES: Thirty-four prospects are taking part in this year’s camp, while veterans Ryan Pulock and Jens Meilleur both rounded out the lineups for Friday’s practice by skating as defencemen … Among those sitting out are 2011 first-round bantam draft pick Kord Pankewicz, who suffered a leg injury that also kept him out of last weekend’s Alberta under-17 camp, and Colton Waltz, who had surgery to remove a bone spur from his foot after finishing the season with the Wheat Kings … One of the participants in the camp is Liam McCrimmon, the son of Wheat Kings great Brad McCrimmon and nephew of Brandon owner/general manager Kelly McCrimmon … Helping out the coaching staff on the ice were former Wheat Kings and current professional hockey players Ryan Craig and Colby Robak.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 2, 2012