It looks like any new Westman representatives in the Western Hockey League this season will come from the Brandon Wheat Kings and the Kamloops Blazers.
Now into the final week of the pre-season, those were the only clubs with local rookies still on their rosters.
Among their 20 forwards competing for positions, the Wheat Kings have the duo of Roblin’s Jayce Hawryluk and Neepawa’s Quintin Lisoway. Hawryluk, 16, has yet to play in the pre-season due to a concussion. Lisoway, who turns 17 in November, has no points and a plus/minus of -1 in two contests.
Meanwhile, blue-chip prospect Jordan Thomson, 16, of Wawanesa, is trying to work his way into the rotation of a deep Kamloops Blazers defence that features six returning players, including second-year Brandonite Landon Cross. Thomson, the fourth overall pick in last year’s WHL Bantam Draft, has no points, one minor penalty and is -2 in three pre-season contests. Cross, meanwhile, is having a strong pre-season as he pushes for a bigger role as an 18-year-old, with two assists, four penalty minutes and a +4 rating in three games.
Other Westman players around the WHL this season include a trio of third-year players in Brandonite Joel Edmundson of the Moose Jaw Warriors, Minnedosa product Chad Robinson of the Red Deer Rebels and Killarney native Reid Gow of the Spokane Chiefs. Meanwhile, Brandonite Carson Perreaux is entering his second season with the Prince Albert Raiders.
Brandonite Brayden Cuthbert returned to Moose Jaw, Sask., for camp in an attempt to resurrect his WHL career after missing the last season and a half due to a concussion. The Moose Jaw Times-Herald reported that Cuthbert was skating, but wasn’t a full participant in training camp as he awaited clearance for body contact. He has been scratched for all three of the Warriors’ exhibition games so far.
Meanwhile, a pair of Westman prospects played in pre-season games before being returned home. Defenceman Travis Sanheim, 16, of Elkhorn, scored in his only game with Calgary before being reassigned to the Midget AAA Yellowhead Chiefs. Meyer Nell, a 15-year-old forward from Boissevain who was chosen by Red Deer in the fifth round of this year’s bantam draft, got into two games with the Rebels and picked up a minor penalty. He’s not eligible to play full-time in the WHL until next season.
AROUND THE WHL: D Ryan Murray, chosen second overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in this year’s NHL draft, has returned to the Everett Silvertips due to the impending lockout. Murray was a candidate to make the Blue Jackets, but is not eligible to play professionally in the American Hockey League …Kelowna has added some size by securing a commitment from 6-foot-5, 225-pound D Mitchell Wheaton, who attended training camp with the Rockets but had gone home to Alberta and was with the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints. “I had some interest from a few (NCAA) schools, but my family and I discussed it and we thought the best thing for me was going to play in Kelowna," Wheaton told the Kelowna Capital News … The Memorial Cup-host Blades have brought LW Luke McColgan, whose older brother Shane was acquired from Kelowna during the off-season, in for a tryout. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play with my brother and have a Mem Cup (appearance) handed to you,” Luke, who turns 18 in December, told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. “But it’s obviously going to take some hard work.” … Former Saskatoon D Mark Wotton of Foxwarren will be honoured with his own bobblehead day by the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Feb. 24.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 12, 2012