IMG_1606After a flurry of Wheat King related news on day one of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, a handful of current players were hoping that trend would continue into day two in downtown Chicago.

Winnipeg native, Stelio Mattheos was selected in the 3rd round (73rd Overall) by the Carolina Hurricanes.

Mattheos, who put up a career-high 61 points last year was taken moments after the Hurricanes took Strathclair, MB native Morgan Geekie at #67.

“This is a big day for my family and myself,” said Mattheos.

“I’m so happy to be drafted by a great organization like Carolina and I’m real excited to get started.”

Mattheos was the 2nd highest ranked Wheat Kings skater heading into this year’s entry draft. Nolan Patrick was ranked #1, while the former #1 overall WHL Bantam Pick finished in the #38 spot by NHL Central Scouting.

“Hearing my name called is really special…. my family has been huge in all of this and it’s not just a day for me, it’s a day for all of us,” Mattheos added.

Many in the building wondered if Mattheos’ hometown Winnipeg Jets would use their selection at #74 to take a local player, but instead he heads to the 2006 Stanley Cup Champions.

“They have a bright future ahead and I want to be a big part of that” Mattheos said about the Canes.

For the record, Mattheos was just seven years old when the Hurricanes won their only League Title.

Although dates for Hurricanes development camp haven’t been confirmed, Mattheos is expected to be in Raleigh, NC as early as next week.

Mattheos, who was all smiles in the media room is excited for the year ahead.

“I want to have a breakout season this year and I want to become a great player in the NHL one day. This season is going to be huge for me and I want to prove everyone wrong who didn’t select me today.”

Midway thru the 7th round, a third Brandon Wheat King heard his name called as the Boston Bruins used their 1st pick in the 7th round to select the Czech import.

Bukac had a solid rookie season, playing in all 72 regular season games while registering 17 points.

Day #2 Timeline

9:34am – Brandon born Keegan Kolesar is traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Vegas Golden Knights.

9:48 am – Roblin, MB native Josh Brook has been selected by the Montreal Canadiens with the 56th overall pick.

9:50am  – Wheat Kings prospect Ian Mitchell is selected by the Chicago Blackhawks. Mitchell spent last season with the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints.

10:01am – Straithclair, MB native Morgan Geekie is selected #67 overall by the Carolina Hurricanes.

10:07am – Wheat Kings forward Stelio Mattheos is selected #73 overall by the Carolina Hurricanes

10:36am – Portage, MB native Nick Henry is selected #94 overall by the Colorado Avalanche.

10:50am – Former Wheat King defenseman Travis Hamonic is traded to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a handful of draft picks.

12:25pm – Virden, MB native Wyatt Kalynuk is selected #196 by the Philadelphia Flyers.

12:34pm – Wheat Kings defenseman Daniel Bukac is selected #204 by the Boston Bruins.

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Chicago, IL (CKLQ) – The year long debate is over.

The New Jersey Devils used the first overall selection in Friday nights Entry Draft to choose Nico Hischer of the Halifax Mooseheads.

Moments later, former Wheat King goaltender Ron Hextall walked to the stage and proudly selected Nolan Patrick with the #2 pick.

With that, Nolan becomes the third member of the Patrick family to hear his name called in the first round.

Steve Patrick (Nolan’s dad) was chosen with the 20th overall selection in 1980 while his uncle James was a 9th round pick of the New York Rangers in 1981.

“I didn’t really know where I was going to go,” said Patrick.

“I had a feeling I might end up in Philly and i’m really excited about it.”

Patrick now joins a Flyers team rich with ties to the Wheat Kings.

As mentioned earlier, Ron Hextall is the General Manager and a long list of alumni have donned the orange and black, including Brian Propp, Brad McCrimmon and Ray Allison.

The club also boasts Brayden Schenn and Ivan Provorov on a roster that finished 5th in the Metropolitan Division last season.

“When you’re going somewhere new and you don’t know anyone it’s much tougher to step in and do well,” Patrick told a throng of media following the selection.

“Knowing those guys is going to make the transition if I make it this year, easier for me.”

Patrick who battled injuries all year was highly touted from the time he entered the WHL at 16-years-old.

In 163 regular season WHL games, the Winnipeg native has 92 goals, 113 assists and 205 points.

His list of accolades is a lengthy one, including WHL Champion, WHL Playoff MVP, WHL Rookie of the Year, and a Gold Medal at the 15/16 Ivan Hlinka tournament.

He was also recently named to the Hockey Canada World Junior development camp roster.

Its been a long journey to this point, but he say’s he’s ready to take the next step.

“It’s tough for me to put into words right now,” added Patrick.

“This is a very special day for me and my family.”




St. Louis Blues acquire forward Brayden Schenn from the Philadelphia Flyers for forward Jori Lehtera, a 2017 first-round pick and a conditional 2018 first-round pick


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(Top NHL Prospects: Nolan Patrick, Casey Mittelstadt and Gabriel Valardi)

It was a day Brandon Wheat King Captain Nolan Patrick will never forget.

Not only was he in the Windy City for the first time, but he was tasked with throwing the first pitch from the mound at Wrigley Field in front of 41,000+ fans.

“I’m more nervous about this pitch, than the draft,” Patrick joked following a pre-game media scrum behind home plate.

For the record, he tossed a strike and was greeted with a roar from the crowd and a handful of “Go Blackhawks Go” chants.

Video evidence can be found here


The top three NHL prospects were on hand on Wednesday morning to greet the media as an “unofficial kickoff” to the NHL Draft week here in Chicago.

It’s a busy week for these young men with a number of public appearances, media stops and of course, the first round on Friday night.

“Im just trying to enjoy it all,” said Patrick.

“I’ve got some family and friends down here and they are taking it all in, so it should be a fun couple of days.”

It’s his family that many in the media are comparing him too. His father Steve was chosen in the first round by Buffalo, while his uncle James went 9th overall to the New York Rangers in 1981.

That could make three Patrick’s chosen in the first round.

Nolan is also looking to make history as the first ever Wheat King to go #1, as well as the first Winnipeg born player to go #1 overall.

Despite all the discussions and buzz around where he will go, the recent World Junior Camp invite says he’s just trying to enjoy this week.

“You only get to go thru this process once and I don’t want to rush it.”

Patrick and his fellow prospects will be busy on Thursday again. They will host a special ball hockey clinic at the United Centre before touring the city on a Shoreline Sightseeing Boat Tour.

The first round of the NHL Draft goes Friday night at 6:00.

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Chicago, IL (CKLQ) – It was a busy day on the Wheat Kings hockey front, as well as a big day for Kelly McCrimmon and the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.

The Brandon Wheat Kings have four prospects donning the Maple Leaf at the U17 Camp later this summer. They include former first round bantam draft choice Braden Schneider, as well as forwards Ben McCartney, Johnny Hooker and Kyle Bettens

Meanwhile, 42 prospects looking to earn an invitation to December’s National Junior Team selection camp will make their way to Plymouth, MI, for the Canada’s National Junior Team Development Camp.

Among the invitees are Brandon captain’s Nolan Patrick and Tanner Kaspick as well as all-star defenceman Kale Clague.

Read the full story here

As well, the Wheat Kings announced the winner of their Early Bird Season Ticket giveaway.

Dave MaGuire of Brandon won a trip for two to Las Vegas to watch the Golden Knights play the Winnipeg Jets.

Tuesday’s draw came after last week’s deadline that saw 1,625 tickets purchased for the 2016-17 Western Hockey League season.

Speaking of the Knights, they unveiled their new jerseys on Tuesday night.

You can see pictures and read that story here. 

Meanwhile, my mid-western USA road trip continued this morning. After a quick breakfast in Bloomington, MN, we continued our journey to Chicago.

662 KM’s later (And a few wrong turns in downtown Chicago) we made it to our hotel.

Our home for the week is the absolutely beautiful Cambria Hotel & Suites on the Magnificent Mile. 

Our first order of business once checked in, was to take the subway to historic Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs pick up a 4-0 win over the San Diego Padres.

The game was sold out and was arguably one of the most unique and fascinating sporting events i’ve ever attended.

If you are a baseball fan, I would highly recommend adding Wrigley to your bucket list.


Speaking of the Cubs, Wheat Kings Captain Nolan Patrick will be on hand at Wednesday afternoon’s game vs the Padres as he is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

If all goes according to plan, I will have photos and reaction from field level on what is likely to go down as one of the coolest moments of this young mans life.

Q-Country is proud to bring you exclusive coverage of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft all week during each and every sports cast on 91.5 and 880 AM.

These reports are proudly presented by Yury’s Psychological Services. 

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8 hours and 921 KM’s later, I have arrived at my first destination… Bloomington, Minnesota.

This two day journey to the Windy City to cover the NHL Draft for Q-Country will cover close to 3200 kilometres and span over seven days.

Sure, the NHL Entry Draft is only a two day spectacle from Friday to Saturday, but when the Cubs and White Sox are in town, you have to turn it into a holiday.

Yury Psychological Services is a proud partner of Q-Country’s draft coverage this week and you can hear Wheat King draft stories and reports on 91.5 and 880 AM during each and every news cast.

Before talking about the obvious (Nolan vs Nico debate), let me tell you a bit about the journey to Chicago. A trip that marks my first time in the state of Illinois and my first time to the home of the NHLs Blackhawks.

Monday, June 19th

9:00am – Depart Brandon, MB

10:15pm – Cross the USA border at the Peace Gardens, south of the beautiful town of Boissevain.

12:45pm – Stop for lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

**The last few years I have made a summer road trip with some fellow radio colleagues, we have done Minneapolis, Milwaukee & Kansas City. They have tagged along for this trip as well to check Chicago off the bucket list.

6:15pm – After battling thru rush hour Minneapolis traffic, arrive at the Comfort INN Airport hotel in Bloomington, Minnesota. (A small suburb of Minneapolis)

7:15pm – Head for a refreshing beverage at Joe Senser’s Sports Theatre. A great little pub owned by the former Minnesota Vikings Tight End.


10:00pm – Read up on all the latest Nico vs Nolan debate, and all the chatter about the Vegas Golden Knights and this week’s expansion draft.

12:00 pm – Lights Out (We still have about 500 KM’s to go before we hit Chicago in the morning)

Obviously the reason I am making this road trip is to provide Q-Country and Wheat Kings fans with the best coverage of what could be a monumental week for the franchise.

Storylines to follow:

-Will Nolan Patrick go #1 overall to New Jersey?

-Will all four ranked Wheat Kings hear their names called?

-How many moves do Kelly McCrimmon and the Vegas Golden Knights make this week?

As of today, there isn’t a whole lot to talk about that hasn’t already been debated over and over.

TSN’s production crew put together a great piece featuring Nolan and another big named former Wheat King.

Brandon hockey fans will enjoy it…. CLICK HERE TO WATCH

As for me, I will be providing stories, clips and photos to Q-Country all week long.

I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I plan to!

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Ryan_Craig_2012-05-05June 9

Former Brandon Wheat King Captain Ryan Craig has been named an Assistant Coach of the Vegas Golden Knights.

Craig joins Gerard Gallant’s staff that also includes former Wheat King coach Mike Kelly.

The Abbottsford, BC native played five seasons in the Wheat City before most recently captaining the Cleveland Monsters of the AHL for the last two seasons.

He brings 914 games of professional hockey experience to the Knights including 198 games in the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets.

With the addition of Craig and Kelly, the Golden Knights organization has a distinct Brandon Wheat Kings flavor.

This includes former coaches Kelly McCrimmon and Bobby Lowes along with newly signed forward Reid Duke and development camp invitee Dmitry Osipov.

June 8

OzzyAnother graduating Brandon Wheat King will get a chance to impress at the NHL level.

Defenseman Dmitry Osipov will attend the Vegas Golden Knights development camp later this month.

Osipov was acquired from the Vancouver Giants at the deadline and quickly became a fan favorite.

Golden Knights camp will run from June 27th to July 1st at the Las Vegas Ice Centre.

vs_pa_action_1-730x411June 1

Graduating Wheat King forward Tyler Coulter is heading to Phoenix this month.

The Brandon, MB native has been invited to Arizona Coyotes development camp.

Coulter, who attended Vancouver Canucks camp following the Memorial Cup run last season is looking to solidify a contract heading into next season.

“I want to have an AHL contract going into next season,” said Coulter.

“The best scenario is I come out of there with a contract or an invitation to main camp.”

The soon to be 21-year-old appeared in over 260 games with his hometown team over parts of five seasons and finished with a career high 63 points last year.

Like most Canadian boys growing up, the ultimate goal is to make the NHL. For Coulter, that dream remains true.

“It’s not too often you get to put on an NHL jersey,” added Coulter.

“It’s a special experience for me and I’m going to just try and enjoy every second of it while I’m there.”

The camp will take place in Glendale, Arizona over the Canada Day long weekend.

Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 5.49.45 AMMay 31

The Brandon Wheat Kings made a minor trade Wednesday morning.

The hockey club sent 20-year-old goaltender Travis Child to the Edmonton Oil Kings.

In exchange, the Wheat Kings will get a 2018 fifth round draft pick.

The trade leaves the Wheaties with four over-age players on their roster, including Logan Thompson, Kade Jensen, James Shearer and Meyer Nell.

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The Brandon Wheat Kings added to an already full prospects cupboard this morning at the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft in Calgary.

The Wheat Kings held six picks in the top 100 spots in the draft including the 8th overall selection.

With that pick, Director of Scouting Darren Ritchie and staff selected forward Ridly Grieg from the Lethbridge Bantam AAA Golden Hawks.

The 5’7 forward had 71 points in 35 games last season.

“We think he’s the smartest player in the draft” said Director of Scouting Darren Ritchie.

“Our priority was getting hockey smarts at the top and speed and that is what this guy has.”

The newest Wheat King comes from a solid hockey bloodline. His father Mark Greig was a 1st round NHL Draft pick in 1990. He was chosen 15th overall by the Hartford Whalers and played 125 games in the NHL with Toronto, Philadelphia, Calgary and Hartford.

Brandon then made two more picks in the top thirty as they held on to the 27th and 30th overall picks.

With the 27th selection, the Wheat Kings chose 6’0 defenseman Vincent Iorio (Coquitlam, BC) from Shattuck  St Mary prep school in Minnesota.

Iorio, appeared in 39 games and had 32 points last season.

The Wheat Kings stayed in Manitoba for the 30th pick selecting defenseman Anthony Kehrer from the Rink Hockey Academy.

Last season, the 5’11 Winnipeg native put up 27 points in 29 games

In the third round, the Wheat Kings elected to keep it in the family as they chose highly skilled forward Nolan Ritchie from the Brandon Bantam AAA Wheat Kings.

Nolan is of course the son of long time Wheat King and the man calling the shots at the draft Darren Ritchie.

Nolan Ritchie
(Photo Courtesy of the Brandon Wheat Kings)

In 39 games, the speedy forward put up 89 points, 51 of which were goals.

With the 74th overall pick, the Wheat Kings dipped back into Alberta taking Calgary native Jack Zayat.

The 5’8 defenseman played last year with the Calgary Bisons AAA Bantam program and put up 37 points in 34 games.

In the fifth round, the Wheat Kings went back to the West Coast; selecting 5’7 forward Cameron MacDonald from the Yale Hockey Academy.

In 29 games, he amassed 38 points including 16 goals and 22 assists.

After a brief lunch break, the Wheat Kings got back to work selecting forward Braden Fischer from Winnipeg.

The left handed winger spent last season with the Winnipeg Bantam Monarchs and had 57 points in 30 games.

In the 8th Round, the Wheat Kings went back to Alberta selecting Beaumont native Bode Hagan from the Edmonton OHA Bantam Prep program.

Hagan is listed as 5’6 and put up 32 points in 30 games last season.

Sticking in Manitoba, the Wheat Kings then selected William Highet from the Winnipeg Bantam AAA Warriors. The right handed defenseman had 33 points in 33 games last season.

In the 9th round Brandon went south of the border picking Owen Gallatin from Hugo, Minnesota.

Unlike most prairie bantam AAA teams, US leagues rarely keep detailed online statistics.

“Owen is a puck moving defenseman, Captain of his team and he’s a good skater with and without the puck,” said Assistant GM Mick McCrimmon

With the addition of 10 new prospects, the Wheat Kings turn their attention to spring camp which will be held May 26th to 28th at Westman Communications Group Place.


Rd. 1 (8th Overall) – Ridly Greig  (Lethbridge, AB)
Rd. 2 (27th Overall) – Vincent Iorio (Coquitlam, BC)
Rd. 2 (30th Overall) – Anthony Kehrer (Winnipeg, MB)
Rd. 3 (56th Overall) – Nolan Ritchie (Brandon, MB)
Rd. 4 (74th Overall) – Jack Zayat (Calgary, AB)
Rd. 5 (96th Overall) – Cameron MacDonald (Surrey, BC)
Rd.7 (140th Overall) – Braden Fischer (Winnipeg, MB)
Rd. 8 (162nd Overall) – Bode Hagan (Beaumont, AB)
Rd. 8 (171st Overall) – William Highet (Winnipeg, MB)
Rd. 9 (184th Overall) – Owen Gallatin (Hugo, MN USA)


Rd. 1 – 11th Overall (Portland)  – Seth Jarvis (Winnipeg, MB)
Rd. 1 – 15th Overall (Moose Jaw) – Damon Hunt (Brandon, MB)
Rd. 2 – 30th Overall (Brandon) – Anthony Kehrer (Winnipeg, MB)
Rd. 2 – 40th Overall (Prince Albert) – Jakob Brook (Roblin, MB)
Rd. 3 – 49th Overall (Everett) – Nathanael Hinds (Winnipeg, MB)
Rd. 3 – 54th Overall (Victoria) – Ty Thorpe (Brandon MB)
Rd. 3 – 56th Overall (Brandon) – Nolan Ritchie (Brandon, MB)
Rd. 3 – 64th Overall (Prince Albert) – Evan Herman (Oakville, MB)
Rd. 5 – 90th Overall (Moose Jaw) – Levi Thiessen (Winnipeg, MB)
Rd. 5 – 97th Overall (Kamloops) – Reese Belton (Winnipeg, MB)
Rd. 5 – 98th Overall (Moose Jaw) – Cory King (Souris, MB)
Rd. 5 – 99th Overall (Seattle) – Dante Giannuzzi (Winnipeg, MB)
Rd. 6 – 112th Overall (Calgary) – Evan Toth (Winnipeg, MB)
Rd. 6 – 114th Overall (Tri-City) – Sequoia Swan (Winnipeg, MB)
Rd. 6 – 121st Overall (Portland) – Tyson Kozak (Souris, MB)
Rd. 6 – 127th Overall (Kelowna) – Jake Poole (MaCauley, MB)
Rd. 6 – 129th Overall (Tri-City) – Landon Roberts (Souris, MB)
Rd. 7 – 134th Overall (Moose Jaw) – Calder Anderson (Brandon, MB)
Rd.7  – 140th Overall (Brandon) – Braden Fischer (Winnipeg, MB)
Rd.8 – 161st Overall (Calgary) – Luc Benedictson (Winnipeg, MB)
Rd. 8 – 171st Overall (Brandon) – William Highet (Winnipeg, MB)
Rd. 8 – 176th Overall (Regina) – Ethan McColm (Oakbank, MB)
Rd. 9 – 181st Overall (Saskatoon) – Kyle Lamoureux (Winnipeg, MB)
Rd. 10 – 191st Overall (Kelowna) – Brody Wilson (Birtle, MB)
Rd. 10 – 202nd Overall (Victoria) – Carter Loney (Winnipeg, MB)
Rd. 10 – 206th Overall (Saskatoon) – Zachary Veitch (Rivers, MB)






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