Photo by Brandi Pollock
Branden, MB (CKLQ) - There is no one on the Brandon Wheat Kings that embodies the "Classic" hockey player look quite like Schael Higson.
When the 20-year-old defenseman smiles, you can see right through where his teeth should be, (the result of an errant high stick) and he's quickly distinguishable on the ice with his long black hair flowing out of his helmet like Jaromir Jagr.
Higson who is in his 6th WHL training camp has a long resume in the WHL, splitting his career with Saskatoon and Brandon. The Grand Prairie, AB native comes into this season leading the team with the most WHL games played (262), seventy-one more games than the next guy (Ty Lewis - 191GP).
"Camp's are physically exhausting," said Higson. "You do become more mentally prepared as you go through it multiple times. Having the boys around to push you makes it easier. It's hard but guys get through it."
Known around the league as a hard-nosed, physical defenseman, Higson has embraced the role as the "elder statesman" on this rendition of the Wheat Kings. With Ty Lewis off to Colorado for the foreseeable future, Higson and Linden McCorrister are the two overage players left on the roster.
"I haven't taken anyone under my wing yet," chuckled Higson. "I just want to be there if a young guy is struggling with a drill I can help him out. We have a lot of smart young guys on this team. I just try to come in and support the boys and try to keep them going."
Although he's only been on the ice a handful of times at camp to date, Higson has been impressed with what he's seen from his teammates.
"Its been really good. I've been impressed with all the guys. It's not the fact that a lot of guys are in exceptional shape right now, it's that I don't think anyone is in poor shape. That is something we can be proud of and have confidence in going into the season."
The Wheat Kings will continue with Main Camp scrimmages throughout the weekend, culminating in the annual Intra-Squad game on Sunday at 2:00 at Westoba Place.