Hardcore Brandon Wheat Kings fans who like to keep an eye on the prospects might want to book a little extra time off work this week for a road trip to Calgary.
Cowtown will host some of the Western Hockey League’s top hopefuls in the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup, and no team will be better represented than the Wheat Kings. The Wheat Kings have seven players in the tournament — no other WHL team has more than five — including five Manitoba forwards.
Here’s a look at the Wheat Kings’ draft picks in the tournament:
• Tanner Kaspick —Chosen in the second round (25th overall) by the Wheat Kings in this year’s WHL bantam draft, Kaspick has two goals and seven assists in eight games to help the Brandon Midget AAA Wheat Kings to a 7-1 start.
• Ty Lewis — Lewis, drafted in the third round, has five goals and six assists in eight games for the Midget Wheat Kings and is second in scoring among Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League rookies.
• Nolan Patrick — Manitoba’s captain, the fourth overall pick in this year’s bantam draft, is second in scoring for the Winnipeg Midget AAA Thrashers with two goals and four assists in seven games.
• Dylan Thiessen — Brandon’s fifth-round pick this year, Thiessen has helped the Winnipeg Wild get off to a 7-1 start, sharing the team lead with six goals and adding two assists in eight Midget AAA games.
• Linden McCorrister — McCorrister, a seventh-round draft pick, is playing his Midget AAA hockey with the Interlake Lightning, posting two goals and an assist in nine games.
•Kale Clague — Part of a loaded Alberta roster that features eight first-round picks from this year’s bantam draft, Clague was chosen sixth overall and has already seen regular-season action with Brandon. Clague is second in scoring among defencemen in the Alberta AAA Midget Hockey League, with two goals and eight assists in nine games for the Lloydminster Bobcats.
•T.J. Brown — Playing for the two-time defending Canadian Midget AAA champion Red Deer Chiefs, the fourth-round bantam pick has two assists in eight games.
Manitoba, which finished last in last year’s tournament, opens against Alberta on Thursday. The Manitoba team also includes a pair of undrafted players from western Manitoba. Defenceman Tristen Cross of Virden has four assists in nine games for the Southwest Midget AAA Cougars. Grandview goalie Brett Evans, who was undrafted but later listed by the Saskatoon Blades, has a 3.68 goals-against average and a save percentage of .880 in his Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League rookie season with the Parkland Rangers.
AROUND THE WHL: OverageLW Todd Fiddler, acquired by Moose Jaw after scoring 42 goals last season for the Spokane Chiefs, has left the Warriors. Fiddler had two goals and eight assists in 14 games for Moose Jaw, but had a plus/minus of -8. He had been a healthy scratch in two of the team’s last three games and is not expected to be traded. “I’m unsure if there’s an opportunity for him in the league and furthermore I’m unsure that Todd wants that opportunity,” Warriors general manager Alan Millar told Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald … The Warriors have also made a trade with the Vancouver Giants, picking up D Reid Zalitach, a 17-year-old from Narol, Man., for a fourth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft and a third-rounder in 2016 … Kelowna G Jordon Cooke is the Canadian Hockey League goalie of the week after posting a 0.96 goals-against average and a .960 save percentage in two wins last week … The WHL player of the week was Everett LW Josh Winquist, who had one goal and six assists in two games.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 30, 2013