Brandon Wheat Kings: 2014-15 Season Preview

Eastern Conference Preview: Brandon Wheat Kings

The Western Hockey League’s 49th season begins on Friday, September 19th, as fans gear up for another exciting winter of WHL hockey.

The Brandon Wheat Kings took a big step forward last season, making it back to the playoffs after missing out the year before.  With a collection of young, high-end talent, the Wheat Kings will be gunning for East Division supremacy.

The Wheat Kings return several key forwards from what was the third-highest scoring offense in the WHL Eastern Conference last season.  Jayce Hawryluk, John Quenneville, Peter Quenneville, Rihards Bukarts and Tim McGauley lead what should be a dangerous attack while sophomores Jesse Gabrielle and Braylon Shmyr will look to take on a bigger role. 

Highly-touted rookie Nolan Patrick could also be a difference-maker as a 16-year-old.  The Wheat Kings will miss the presence of former captain Ryan Pulock on the back end.  However, 18-year-old Ryan Pilon should be able step up and help fill the void both offensively and defensively.  Look for rookies Ivan Provorov and Kale Clague to step in on the back-end as well.

Goaltender Jordan Papirny takes on the starting job in goal after posting 22 wins in 46 games last year and further impressing in the post-season.

Red Deer Rebels play in the Central Division

Brandon Wheat Kings play in the East Division

Brandon Wheat Kings

G.M./Head Coach: Kelly McCrimmon

2014 pre-season: 3-1-0-0

2013-14 Record: 34-29-6-3, 77 pts. (3rd in East Div. 7th in Eastern Conf.)

GF: 271  GA: 269


2013-14 Power Play/Penalty Killing ranking: PP: 25.9% (2nd) PK: 75.2% (18th)

2014 Playoffs: Lost in five games to Edmonton in second round

2013-14 Top Scorers:
Jayce Hawryluk             59gp -24g -40a -64pts
Ryan Pulock                   66gp -23g -40a -63pts
Tim McGauley               68gp -21g -39a -60pts


John Quenneville

John Quenneville

Player to Watch:  John Quenneville

An 18-year-old from Edmonton, AB, Quenneville enjoyed a breakout campaign last year, scoring 25 goals and 58 points in 61 games to help the Wheat Kings make the post-season.  He also turned the eyes of NHL scouts with his blend of offensive skill and physical ability, hearing his name called in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft when the New Jersey Devils selected him 30th overall. 

A big-bodied forward who can skate, play physical and generate offense, expect Quenneville to build on his strong campaign last year and become a go-to guy in the Wheat Kings’ attack.

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