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Trio of Wheat Kings Off to NHL Camps

03.09.2019 14:49
By: Branden Crowe

Burzan, McCartney and Patera leave this week

Photo by Brandi Crowe

A trio of Brandon Wheat Kings will head off to NHL rookie camp's this week. 

Luka Burzan (Colorado), Jiri Patera (Vegas) and Ben McCartney (Philadelphia) all head south this week with hopes of turning heads at the pro level. 

Burzan, a 6th round pick of the Avalanche in June's Entry Draft has had an impressive summer. Coming off a career-high 40-goal season Burzan joined teammate Braden Schnieder in Plymouth, Michigan representing Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship showcase tournament. 

"This is something you look forward to your whole life," Burzan said. "You work hard to get to this level. I'm going to go there and soak in as much as I can." 

The Surrey, BC native will join former Wheat Kings Ty Lewis at rookie camp and Matt Calvert at the team's main camp.

Players will report to Denver this week before heading to Anaheim for a rookie showcase tournament. 

"Colorado Avalanche hockey is almost upon us. In just two weeks, rookies and prospects will report for rookie camp. Only one day is taking place in Denver — Friday, September 6 at 9:30 am MT.

The reason the camp is so early is that the second day of camp will be on the road. The team’s rookies, prospects, and amateur tryouts will be participating in a Rooke Faceoff tournament in Anaheim starting September 7. They’ll return to Colorado after their game on September 10, just before official training camp begins." - Mile High Sticking Online

Meanwhile, in Vegas, a pair of Wheat Kings will put their skills on display for new General Manager Kelly McCrimmon and the hockey staff of the Golden Knights. 

Jiri Patera enters his 3rd NHL training camp after being selected by the Knights in the 6th round of the 2017 Entry Draft.

While he remains unsigned, his status as a European Import allows the Knights an extra year to sign him, taking some of the pressure off. 

"The goal is to impress the coaches and the organization," said Patera. "I want to show them I'm capable of signing a contract and playing pro hockey."

Finnish import Marcus Kallionkieli has spent the last few weeks in Las Vegas rehabbing an injury with team doctors and trainers. There is no official word on if he will compete in camp. 

Like Burzan and the Avalanche, the Golden Knights rookies will head to Anaheim for the Ducks rookie showcase. 


Thursday, September 5 (City National Arena)

-Rookie camp opens

Friday, September 6 (City National Arena)

-Vegas Golden Knights rookie practice, 10:15 a.m. PT

Saturday, September 7 (Great Park Ice & FivePoint Arena, Anaheim, California)

-Vegas Golden Knights vs. Colorado Avalanche, 1 p.m. PT (Rink 4)

Sunday, September 8 (Great Park Ice & FivePoint Arena)

-Vegas Golden Knights vs. Arizona Coyotes, 3 p.m. PT (Rink 3)

Monday, September 9 (Great Park Ice & FivePoint Arena)

-Vegas Golden Knights rookie practice, 10:30 a.m. PT (Rink 4)

Tuesday, September 10 (Great Park Ice & FivePoint Arena)

-Vegas Golden Knights vs. Anaheim Ducks, 3:00 p.m. PT (Rink 4)

Thursday, September 12 (City National Arena)

-Vegas Golden Knights rookie practice, 3:00 p.m. PT

In Philadelphia, PA Ben McCartney will continue to try and impress as a free agent invite. 

The un-drafted forward is coming off a career year where he scored 21 times and added 20 assists for 40 points. He attended Flyers development camp in spring and is ready to build off that opportunity. 

"I want to go there and be the hardest working guy in camp," said McCartney. "I want to come back to Brandon with zero regrets."

McCartney missed the last two days of Wheat Kings camp due to a lower-body injury but is expected to take part in all Flyers scheduled camp activities. 

"According to Flyers site contributor Bill Meltzer, who’s as a reliable source as anyone, Philadelphia will kick everything off with Rookie Camp on September 7th, with the on-ice activities beginning the next day on the 8th. Some of the names who will more than likely be in attendance include Morgan Frost, Joel Farabee, and Isaac Ratcliffe, among other prospects. The Rookie Game will follow the camp, as it always does, on September 11th, when the Orange and Black youths take on the New York Islanders and the PPL Center." - From Broad Street Buzz

The rest of the Wheat Kings will continue their preparations this week for the first weekend of WHL pre-season action. Brandon welcomes Winnipeg to town on Friday night. Game time is 7:30, with the QCountry pre-game show on the air at 7:00.