Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Sports
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Wheat Kings call on young D-man

Rookie defenceman Kord Pankewicz skates up ice in Brandon Wheat Kings practice Tuesday at Westman Place.

TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

Rookie defenceman Kord Pankewicz skates up ice in Brandon Wheat Kings practice Tuesday at Westman Place.

With Tyler Yaworski suspended for the next six games, Kord Pankewicz is ready to step back into the lineup and contribute on the blue-line for the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Chosen by Brandon as a rearguard with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft, Pankewicz played forward in midget last season and remained up front for the first half of his rookie campaign with the Wheat Kings. When Ayrton Nikkel was dealt away and Riley Van Horne was sent to Junior A at the WHL trade deadline last month, Pankewicz changed positions once again, moving back to defence.

"I think it’s gone pretty good so far," Pankewicz said. "I’ve just got to stay more defensively (focused), not thinking offence … (Being involved in the offence) was what my job was back when I played ‘D’ in bantam and it’s a lot different knowing when to pinch and the speed of the guys."

The 5-foot-10, 197-pound native of Drayton Valley, Alta., has played his last seven games on the blue-line, picking up one assist and going even in plus/minus. But his playing time dwindled when captain Ryan Pulock returned from a wrist injury and Pankewicz has been a healthy scratch for four of the past five games.

Now, with Yaworski suspended after taking a major penalty for checking to the head in Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Regina Pats, Pankewicz is expected to become a fixture in the lineup again for the next six games, starting tonight against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Wheat Kings head coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk said he has the confidence in the youngster’s ability to handle the responsibility.

"He’s come in and he’s done very well for us," Gylywoychuk said. "He’s kept it simple, he’s played well and he’s still learning a little bit, but he’s worked hard and he’s done what he needed to do."

While Pankewicz spent the vast majority of his time before the trade deadline playing and practising as a forward, Gylywoychuk said he picked up a few things along the way that have helped make the transition smoother.

"He’s played centre before and a centreman has to work really hard in the defensive zone," Gylywoychuk said. " (The centre) actually does a lot of work right beside the defenceman, so I think he realizes that. But I think the biggest thing is that he’s got to think a little bit more, he’s got to work a little bit harder (going) back for pucks and he’s got to be able to support his partner. So those are some different things he’s got to work though in his head, but he’s adjusted really well."

Pankewicz steps into the lineup at a key point of the season. Sitting 11 points out of a playoff spot with only 18 games to go, the Wheat Kings desperately need to make up some ground quickly and they have a chance to do that with six contests remaining on a seven-game homestand.

"These are must-win games to make the playoffs," Pankewicz said. "That’s the way our mindset is right now and that’s the way it should be."

ONE-TIMERS: The WHL provided an explanation for Yaworski’s suspension, stating that Pats D Luke Fenske was injured on the hit (suffering a concussion) and that this is Yaworski’s second suspension this season. He was banned for three games after a check to the head in Vancouver in October … With G Corbin Boes (knee, indefinite) sidelined, the Wheat Kings have brought back G Jordan Papirny from the Alberta Midget AAA ranks for this week’s games … An illness has been running through the Brandon dressing room, keeping G Curtis Honey, D Eric Roy and RW Jens Meilleur out of Tuesday’s practice.

» rhenders@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 6, 2013

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

With Tyler Yaworski suspended for the next six games, Kord Pankewicz is ready to step back into the lineup and contribute on the blue-line for the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Chosen by Brandon as a rearguard with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft, Pankewicz played forward in midget last season and remained up front for the first half of his rookie campaign with the Wheat Kings. When Ayrton Nikkel was dealt away and Riley Van Horne was sent to Junior A at the WHL trade deadline last month, Pankewicz changed positions once again, moving back to defence.

Please subscribe to view full article.

Already subscribed? Login to view full article.

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up

With Tyler Yaworski suspended for the next six games, Kord Pankewicz is ready to step back into the lineup and contribute on the blue-line for the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Chosen by Brandon as a rearguard with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft, Pankewicz played forward in midget last season and remained up front for the first half of his rookie campaign with the Wheat Kings. When Ayrton Nikkel was dealt away and Riley Van Horne was sent to Junior A at the WHL trade deadline last month, Pankewicz changed positions once again, moving back to defence.

Subscription required to view full article.

A subscription to the Brandon Sun Newspaper is required to view this article. Please update your user information if you are already a newspaper subscriber.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Submit a Random Act of Kindness
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media