Brandon, MB. – To no one’s surprise, Brandon Wheat Kings’ 17-year old defenceman Ryan Pulock has been added to the Western Hockey League All Star Team that will face off against the Russians next week in the final leg of their cross Canada SUBWAY Super Series.
Pulock, who will be one of four Wheat Kings to take to the ice against Team Russia, was added to the WHL roster Wednesday when it was learned that an injury to Moose Jaw’s Morgan Rielly will prevent him from participating in the annual event.
A 6’1” 198 lb Grandview, Manitoba product, Pulock joins fellow blueliner Jordan Fransoo and forward Mark Stone and Michael Ferland on the Western League All Star roster. Stone, Ferland and Pulock join Seattle’s Calvin Pickard (Winnipeg) and Moose Jaw’s Dylan McIlrath (Winnipeg) and Quinton Howden (Oakbank) as the six Manitobans named to this year’s club.
Chosen by the Wheat Kings in the 7th round (136th overall) in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, Pulock attended Canada’s Under 18 Summer Camp in August. As well, he was a member of Team Western at last year’s World Under 17 Hockey Challenge in Winnipeg.
Entering Wednesday night’s game against the Raiders in Prince Albert, Pulock shares the league lead in scoring amongst defencemen with Reece Scarlett of the Swift Current Broncos. In 19 games this season, the former Parkland AAA Midget Ranger has six goals and 20 points.
During his rookie year with the Wheat Kings in 2010-11, he not only led all Brandon blueliners in scoring, his 42 points established a new franchise record for 16-year old rookie defencemen, breaking the previous standard set by Wade Redden in 1993-94.
Pulock is eligible for the 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
The 2011 SUBWAY® Super Series will take place November 7 – 17 and marks the ninth straight year that teams of CHL All-Stars have competed against Team Russia in preparation for the World Junior Hockey Championships. The SUBWAY® Super Series is an integral part of the evaluation process prior to Team Canada’s final selection camp in December. This season, Canada will be competing for their 14th straight medal at the 2012 tournament in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.
Team WHL will face Team Russia in games five and six of the series played Wednesday, November 16 in Regina, SK, and on Thursday, November 17 in Moose Jaw, SK. The first two games of the series are hosted by the QMJHL with the OHL hosting games three and four. Team Russia won the series opener 2-0 on Monday night, with the second game scheduled to be played Wednesday.
Team WHL was selected by a special committee of WHL General Managers along with Kevin Prendergast, Hockey Canada’s Head Scout for the Canadian National Junior Team, as part of the selection process for the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships.
Meanwhile Pulock’s Wheat Kings will be hoping to get back on the winning track tonight when they close out a 2-game Saskatchewan road trip in Prince Albert against the Raiders. A 5-2 Saskatoon victory on Tuesday – Brandon’s second straight loss – moved the Blades past the Wheat Kings and back into first place in a very tight Eastern Division race.
Entering Wednesday’s action, the Blades lead Brandon and Regina by one point and Moose Jaw by two. Saskatoon plays Swift Current tonight while Moose Jaw and the Pats are idle.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)