|Voice of the Pats Phil Andrews|
The Pats have a total of 10 rookies on their roster, five of which have never set foot on the ice in a WHL regular season game. Forwards Lane Zablocki, Riley Woods and defencemen Jared Freadrich and Nikolai Knyzhov could all get their first games in the league on Thursday. Trygve Many Guns has not played a game either but he was suspended three games by the WHL on Tuesday for his charging major against the Prince Albert Raiders.
Freadrich has been used on the powerplay in practice this week on the blue line. The 17-year-old, 4th round pick says he can't wait until Thursday night. "Pretty excited, a little bit nervous. Been waiting for that day since I came to camp here... It will be exciting to see how I do and I am glad they are giving me the opportunity to show what I can do on the powerplay and chip in offensively."
Freadrich who played in the AJHL with the Whitecourt Wolverines as a 16-year-old last year and had 11 points and 59 penalty minutes in 45 games. He says having already played junior and now having another WHL training camp under his belt, he is ready to make the jump. "I think every pre-season game I've gotten more comfortable out there and playing with guys for longer times you get to know how they are like and everything gets more comfortable as time goes on."
Assistant Coach and Assistant GM Dave Struch says he's earned his shot. "We expect a lot of all of these guys and seeing him in the spring camp, his skating, the improvement there was really enormous for him. It made us rethink where we wanted to position him in our lineup. He's here, he's made the team and he is going to get a good opportunity. As is everybody at the young age. Everybody knows we play all of our guys for development purposes. They get a lot of opportunity to fail and keep failing and then grow and have some successes and get consistent with it."
Struch had some high praise for Freadrich, comparing him to an NHL draft pick and former Pats captain. "Ever since the first time we saw him skate at the start of the year here he looks a lot like a young Kyle Burroughs in his game. When I was coaching in Saskatoon to see him you could see there were some attributes there. That's something that you look forward too as far as the growth of the program and the development of Jared so that you have something to look forward too in a couple years."
Puck drop tomorrow night is at 7 o'clock on 620 CKRM with the pre-game show at 6:35. The Pats will host their home opener on Saturday night against Moose Jaw at the Brandt Centre, also at 7 PM.
- The Moose Jaw Warriors have unveiled their throwback jerseys for opening weekend. We will get our first look at the Regina Pats vintage jerseys come Thursday night. They look really sharp and will be auctioned off after the Pats home opener on Saturday.
- The WHL released its top 125 players of all time yesterday. You can find the list by clicking here. It was compiled with the help of Gregg Drinnan, Norm Dueck, Peter Loubardias, Bob Ridley, Dan Russell, Rob Vanstone, Dean Vrooman and Bill Willms. There are 10 Regina Pats alumni that made the list.
- Now to football and I want to start with former Regina Thunder QB and National Champion Asher Hastings. The Regina product is playing with McMaster University and in his first three starts has thrown for 1081 yards which is third in the country and has the most touchdown passes with 13. So good to see him succeed. He came to mind this week when Dallas Cowboys pivot Tony Romo went down with a broken collarbone and will miss 8 weeks. Hastings did the same thing in his second to last year with the Thunder. Broke his collarbone clear in two (I wish I still had the x-ray photo to show you), and he returned to the field just 5 weeks later. Maybe Cowboys fans won't have to wait as long as they think for their franchise QB to return. Or maybe Asher is just a freak of nature.
-The Regina Thunder got back on track Sunday in Winnipeg with a 51-22 win over the Rifles at Investors Group Field. QB Jaeden Marwick threw three more touchdowns and sits with 17 in 6 games which leads the PFC. The Thunder are on a bye this week and will take on the Calgary Colts in week 8 in a battle for second place.
- The Green Bay Packers exercised some demons on Sunday night beating the Seattle Seahawks and Lambeau Field. It was a heck of a football game and once again Aaron Rodgers came through clutch in the 4th quarter. What's been a real surprise is the play of the defence as well compared to previous years. They are forcing turnovers at key times in games and all but bottled p Marshawn Lynch on Sunday night. For good reason they are atop the power rankings in the NFL after 2 weeks. Big Monday night game against Kansas City in week 3.
- I really wish the Riders were not playing Sunday, the CFL should stay away from Sunday games once the NFL has started.
- Lots of talk about if the Green and White should trade Kevin Glenn to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats after Zach Collaros was lost for the season. If Hamilton wants him, which 'm not sure they do, then I think the only way the Riders make the trade is if it's quite the return for Saskatchewan. Sure these last 6 games of the season are a write off however, if Darian Durant is not ready week one next year then you need Glenn to be back for another year. Sure free agency could change all of that but he is a valuable asset for this team now and in the future.
That's all I have for today. Have a great week and talk to you from Moose Jaw tomorrow night.