It’s a long road from rookie camp to playing in the Western Hockey League, but Brandon’s Ty Lewis appears to be headed in the right direction.
The 15-year-old was selected by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the third round of this year’s WHL bantam draft, as the club decided that the homegrown centre had more than enough talent packed into his 5-foot-8, 150-pound frame.
Even Lewis said at the time of the draft that he was surprised to be chosen that early, particularly given a knee injury that cost him the first half of the season. But so far in training camp, he’s rewarded the Wheat Kings’ faith, more than holding his own in rookie scrimmages against players up to two years older.
“It feels good,” he said of his first taste of a WHL training camp. “There’s a lot of great players out here and just to be at the camp is a real accomplishment for me. I’m happy just to be here and it’s been a really good experience.”
After producing five goals and 15 points in only eight regular-season games with the Bantam AAA Wheat Kings last season, Lewis plans to make the jump to Brandon’s Midget AAA squad this winter while working toward next year, when he’s old enough to make the WHL team’s roster.
He’s consistently been dangerous in the offensive zone and opened the scoring in Thursday morning’s scrimmage, going to the net and converting a pass from Ryley Lindgren, who is considered one of the favourites to earn a spot this season. Lewis said being able to play with more experienced players like Lindgren has helped him in the camp.
“I just want to work hard, get on pucks, create lots of chances and it’s been good with the guys,” Lewis said. “I’ve had a lot of chemistry, so it’s been nice.”
OUT WITH A BANG: Brandonite Brett Kitt closed out rookie camp with the OT winner in Team White’s 6-5 win over Team Black in the Young Guns Intrasquad Game last night. Braylon Shmyr, Dakota Boutin, Ben Dalke and Dylan Thiessen also scored for Team White. Nolan Patrick fired three goals while Ty Lewis and Jordan Bochinski had singles for Team Black.
In the morning scrimmage, Jesse Gabrielle scored two goals in regulation and one in a shootout as Team Black rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat Team White 4-3. Kirklan Lycar also scored for Black, while Tristen Elder netted the shootout winner. Lewis and fellow Brandonite Dawson Waddell scored in regulation for White, as did Elkhorn’s Taylor Sanheim.
ONE-TIMERS: The proposed sale of the Saskatoon Blades to Edmonton businessman Mike Priestner has taken a twist. With the WHL set to review the transaction on Wednesday, Sportsnet’s Rogers Millions has reported that a competing bid from a group that includes former Blades Rhett Warrener and Kelly Chase has been raised to $9 million to match Priestner’s offer. The sale of any team has to be approved by the league before it can be completed … The NHL’s Winnipeg Jets signed their second WHLer in as many days on Thursday, agreeing two a three-year entry-level deal with Kamloops Blazers RW J.C. Lipon. A third-round pick in this year’s draft, Lipon would earn an average of $700,000 per year if he played in the NHL on the two-way contract. On Wednesday, the Jets signed graduated Spokane Chiefs D Brenden Kichton, who was the WHL’s top defenceman last season. The three-year, two-way deal would pay the seventh-round pick $620,00 per year in the NHL.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 30, 2013