Defenceman Jordan Fransoo was traded by Brandon on Jan. 9. (FILE PHOTO)
Having played his only career game against the Wheat Kings in Brandon last season, Jordan Fransoo was more than happy to welcome his old teammates to his new home for the first time.
Fransoo and the Victoria Royals hosted the Wheat Kings on Tuesday night for the first time since the Western Hockey League returned to the British Columbia capital last season after a 17-year-absence.
Any bitterness Fransoo may have felt towards the Wheat Kings for trading him to the Royals at the deadline last season has faded, but the 19-year-old defenceman admitted Tuesday’s game was one he’d been looking forward to.
"As time goes by, you get past things," the North Battleford, Sask., native said. "But it’s good and it’s fun to go out there and play against former friends and teammates."
Fransoo and winger Dakota Conroy were sent to the Royals along with a first-round WHL Bantam Draft pick in exchange for Kevin Sundher on Jan. 9.
The Royals struggled down the stretch and made a quick exit from the playoffs, but so far this fall, the club has shown signs of taking a significant step forward. The Royals went into Tuesday’s game, which was still underway as of press time, with an impressive 8-4-0-0 record.
"We’re a young team, but we’re making strides and growing really well," Fransoo said. "Everyone’s bought into the system and I think that we’re going to do well for ourselves this year."
Fransoo has missed some time due to injury this season, getting into seven games and posting three assists, with a plus/minus of -3. The numbers don’t jump out at you, but Fransoo is happy with the opportunity he’s received in Victoria and the Ottawa Senators draft pick (seventh round, 2011) is confident his third WHL season will be his best yet.
"There’s always a few hiccups, some ups and downs," he said. "But for me, I just want to keep playing my consistent game and bring it every night and just be a leader on the team."
AROUND THE WHL: Brandon visits Vancouver tonight (8:30 p.m., CKLQ) … With the trade of D Brady Gaudet, 18, to Red Deer on Sunday for a third-round pick in next year’s bantam draft, Kamloops is down to eight blue-liners, including Landon Cross of Brandon and rookie Jordan Thomson of Wawanesa … Kelowna’s Jordon Cooke is the Canadian Hockey League goaltender of the week after going 2-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and a .967 percentage last week, including 42 saves in a 4-2 victory over Brandon on Saturday … Edmonton G Stephen Shmoorkoff has been suspended two games for a check to the head on Saturday vs. Medicine Hat.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 24, 2012