Brandon’s Michael Ferland fired 47 goals for the Wheat Kings in his fourth year in the WHL.
Although he hasn’t been playing for the Abbotsford Heat in the playoffs, Brandonite Mike Ferland believes the time he is spending in the American Hockey League this spring will make him a better pro in the fall.
The 6-foot-2, 208-pound left-winger joined the Heat after his Brandon Wheat Kings were eliminated in the second round of the Western Hockey League playoffs, and he has been one of the extra players for Abbotsford, which is facing the Toronto Marlies in the second round of the AHL post-season.
"It’s been great," said Ferland, a draft pick of the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames who is expected to start his professional career in Abbotsford, B.C., next season as a 20-year-old.
"I remember coming in here and I was nervous to meet everyone and just to see how it was. These past few weeks have been great. I just kinda got a feel for what it’s like and what’s going on here and I’m just getting ready for next year."
Ferland arrived in Abbotsford with a broken finger suffered in the Wheat Kings’ second-last playoff game against the Edmonton Oil Kings, but resumed skating right away with the Heat, even though he wasn’t able to shoot the puck.
Ferland said he can shoot again now and is starting to get back to normal, so he’s focusing on learning the pro game and biding his time along with the rest of the Heat’s black aces while they wait for a chance to contribute.
"The coaches have been coming out with us, just giving us some tips," said Ferland, who finished seventh in the WHL with 47 goals and ninth overall in points with 96 this season. "… I’m just learning from the older guys, watching them prepare. It’s just a learning experience."
WRITING ON THE WALL: Maybe he didn’t know where he would go, but Ty Rimmer hardly seemed shocked about being traded despite an outstanding season with the Tri-City Americans.
Rimmer, who led the WHL in both goals-against average (2.43) and save percentage (.922) this season, was dealt to the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Thursday because he’ll count against the 20-year-old limit next season and the Americans have an heir apparent ready to start in Ty Comrie.
"I knew what the overage situation was," Rimmer, who began his WHL career as a Brandon Wheat King, told Annie Fowler of the Tri-City Herald. "I have mixed emotions leaving Tri. I had a lot of fun there and it was an amazing season with what we accomplished and the individual success we had. … Lethbridge is four hours from home (in Edmonton), which is a plus. This will be a good opportunity."
Another former Wheat King was also on the move Thursday as the Moose Jaw Warriors dealt Dallas Ehrhardt, who will be 20 next season, to the Prince George Cougars.
@:ONE-TIMERS: A pair of Wheat Kings had brothers chosen in Thursday’s WHL Bantam Draft. Tyrel Seaman’s brother Caleb was picked in the ninth round, 177th overall by Prince Albert, while Dylan Kuczek’s brother Dexter was taken in the 11th round, 234th overall by Saskatoon ... The Calgary Hitmen traded G Brandon Glover, 20, to the Seattle Thunderbirds on Tuesday in exchange for a 2013 third-round bantam draft pick ... Edmonton Oil Kings head coach Derek Laxdal was fined $500 for his comments on the officiating in Game 2 of the WHL final in Portland on May 4, while Edmonton’s Henrik Samuelsson was suspended for one game under supplemental discipline for a cross-checking incident in Game 3 ... Portland RW Sven Bärtschi was named the WHL player of the week after firing four goals and notching an assist in three games.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 9, 2012