Rylan Thiessen is the newest member of the Dauphin Kings organization. The club traded Alex Cattani for Thiessen.

Thiessen had 12G & 18A in 30 games with the Brandon AAA Wheat Kings last season and 19 points (5G) in 11 playoff contests.

"With the depth in the middle right now, we just didn't know if Alex would get the opportunity to play and get the ice time he wants," said Doug Hedley, Head Coach & General Manager. "Rylan was one of the top defencemen in the AAA league last year.”

“We know he's probably going to start the season in Lethbridge and if he stays there, that's okay. We feel he can be a positive influence on our lineup if he can come back,"

Doug also shared what he likes most about Rylan.

"His mobility is strong. He ran the power play last year with Brandon," said Hedley. "He played a couple of games with Lethbridge as well. He's very gifted offensively and on the back end as well, we feel that he's going to be a very good junior player."

Rylan had 86 total points in the last two seasons with Brandon. His regular position is forward.

The "Celebrities" continue to roll in as the Grand Plains Celebrity Classic is eight days away.

Today's reveal is former Brandon Wheat King, Tanner Kaspick.

He played 191 regular season games and 58 playoff games with Brandon during his junior career. He also helped the Wheat Kings' win the WHL title back in the 2015-16 season.

During that season, he had 41 points through the WHL playoffs.

Tanner spent last season with the AHL's San Antonio Rampage, where he played 46 games and he had eight points.

He then joined the Tulsa Oilers late in the regular season, playing in six games. The Oilers went on to make the conference final, where they lost to the Toledo Walleye. Tanner played in 18 games in the playoffs and had five points (3G).

Kaspick is signed by the St. Louis Blues and he's expected to start this season with the Rampage.

He was drafted in the 4th round, 119th overall in the 2016 draft.

Registration for this year's Grand Plains Celebrity Classic continues. Call 548-3030 to enter today. The cost is $125/team or $500/foursome. That includes your round, meal and a chance at prizes.

 

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will look to remain perfect tonight when they take on the Ottawa Redblacks.

The Blue & Gold are coming off a dominating win last week against the Argonauts. Ottawa meanwhile, was dismantled last week against Montreal, 36-19. 

For Winnipeg, Chris Matthews will miss his second straight week. Jonathon Jennings will start at quarterback for Ottawa.

Against the Ottawa franchise, Winnipeg is 46-31-1 all-time, but Ottawa is perfect on the road this year. They beat Calgary to start the season. Winnipeg, on the other hand, is 18-8 at IG Field since August of 2016 when Matt Nichols assumed the starting quarterback duties.

If Winnipeg does win tonight, they would start 5-0 for the first time since 1960. The team is 11-14 so far to start the season in the red zone. Matt Nichols also leads the league with 10 touchdowns and a quarterback efficiency rating of 126.

On Ottawa's side, Lewis Ward could be key to the team's success tonight. He's made 61 straight field goals. That includes 20 straight from 40-plus yards.

You can listen to tonight's game right here on 730CKDM, as we're a proud member of the Blue Bomber Radio network. Kickoff is set for 7:30.

Swan River's Derek Chez spent the past four days at the Quarry Oaks Golf Course as he played in the Manitoba Amateur Golf Championships.

72 holes after it began, Chez was the low Parklander as he finished in a tie for 31st. 

"I can't really expect too much, I don't play as much as I used to," said Chez. "My goal was to finish the whole tournament and make the final two days and I did that. I was happy with the overall performance."

"There were a couple of bad shots and I guess you would call them misfortunes of golf, but that happens," he added.

Derek opened the tournament with a 78 which put him in a good position moving into day two. Chez followed up that 78 with an 83 in round two. He attributes that 83 to a poor start to his morning.

"I wound up almost missing my tee time on day two. I missed my alarm and I only had 20 minutes to get to the course," added Chez. "When I got to the course, I was a little bit battled. Nerves definitely had something to do with the round."

Derek got right back to his good play in round three. He fired a 77. In round four, Chez made three birdies on the front nine as he fired a 1 under, 35 on the opening nine. He went five over on the back half to finish the day with a 4 over, 76.

Only 14 other golfers in the event shot better than Derek's 76 on the final day.

"I hit a lot of good shots, I don't think I even missed a fairway and my iron play was pretty solid," added Chez. "My putting was something to be desired, it was pretty tough to read the greens. I had a fun time and I'm pretty pleased with my efforts."

This tournament likely wraps up Derek's tournament part of his season, but he'll certainly be back next season. With his T-31 finish, the Swan River native has earned an automatic entry into next year's event. Where it will be played is still to be determined.

"I'm happy that I've locked up a spot next year, I'm pretty interested to see where it will be played," concluded Chez.

Colwyn Abgrall is this year's winner of the Manitoba Amateur Golf Championships. 

The Southwood member fired an overall total of 2 under. That was two strokes better than Shilo Golf Club's, Austin Dobrescu.

Dauphin Lake Golf Club's, Dalen Schulz finished in 54th. He shot 80, 82, 86, 86 in the four-day tournament.

The Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy Junior Open will go down on Saturday at the Dauphin Lake Golf Club.

It's free to play and there are two age groups:

12 & under: 9 holes with registration starting at 10:30 a.m.

13-18: 18 holes with registration beginning at 9:00 a.m.

There will also be prizes for every golfer that takes part and you will also get a meal.

"It's a great tournament, everyone always has a lot of fun," said Ray Karlson, General Manager. 

If you want to enter, all you have to do is call the Dauphin Lake Golf Club at 638-9400. When entering, make sure to say your age for pairing purposes.

Darren Ritchie has been on the Brandon Wheat Kings staff since the 2006-07 season. From that point until the end of the 2015-16 season, he was an Assistant Coach.

For the past three seasons, the Minnedosa native was the team's Director of Scouting. In early May, Brandon announced that they would not be extending the contract of Grant Armstrong, which means the team was in search of a new General Manager.

The search took more than two months to find the right candidate, but that search is officially over. Darren Ritchie was named the team's 12th General Manager on July 12th.

Prior to becoming an Assistant Coach back in the 06-07 season, Ritchie played nine seasons as a professional. Most of which were in Germany. He also played in Italy, and in North America.

Before his pro days, Ritchie was a star with the Wheat Kings. He played in 232 games with the team and had 278 points (152G). He also scored three goals in four Memorial Cup games. 

1994-95 was his best season in Brandon. He had 114 points (62G) in the regular season and he added 22 points (13G) in the playoffs. He was a WHL best +64 and he won the league's Most Sportsmanlike Player award.

As the off-season continues to roll on and Opening Day gets closer each day, Ritchie is excited for his first full season as GM.

"Kelly approached me about the position and asked me my thoughts. At the time, I was honoured and wasn't sure what to think," said Ritchie. "I really liked being the Director of Scouting for the team. At the end of the day, there aren't many positions like this. I thought it would be a really great opportunity for me to help our organization, I'm really excited to do it."

This upcoming season will also be a milestone year for Darren. If you combine his years playing with the team, this will be his 20th Anniversary in the Wheat City. The first 19 were so great that coming back for a 20th was a no-brainer.

"Everyone treats each other with respect and everyone's opinion matters," said Ritchie. "It all starts with Kelly, he's the boss and he makes everyone feel welcome. I have always enjoyed helping players day in and day out. We want to make sure everyone feels welcome and a part of things, it's a great place to be."

When accepting the job, McCrimmon did provide Darren with some advice as he embarks on his first year as a GM.

"He told me to treat people the way I want to be treated. Have fun at the rink, it's great being at the rink," said Ritchie. "That's how Kelly has always done things and I plan on carrying on with that tradition."

With all the excitement of accepting the position in the rear-view mirror, Ritchie is now tasked with setting up a lineup that will look to get back into the playoffs. 

Last season was the first since the 2013 campaign that Brandon missed the playoffs. In the stretch of five straight playoff appearances, Brandon won a league title and lost in a league final. 

Despite it being his first year as a GM, pressure is something that Ritchie is not feeling.

"I don't feel it. I've been a part of this team for a long time and we've been lucky to be in the playoffs as much as we have," said Ritchie. "We take a lot of pride in making the playoffs. When we don't, it's disappointing and it makes everyone work harder. We're going to prepare to be ready at the start of the year. We do expect to be in the playoffs."

When it comes to who's eligible to come back this season, the Wheat Kings do have a solid group. Luka Burzan, Ben McCartney, Jiri Patera, Cole Reinhardt are all eligible to return, just to name a few.

Between Luka, Ben and Reinhardt last season, the three combined for 83 goals and 81 assists. Jiri led the team to 22 wins in net.

All in all, Ritchie knows the team will have what it takes to make a run.

"We return a lot of good players. Now it's all about taking the next step, players will come in better after all of their training in the off-season," said Ritchie. "Our d-core got a lot better in the second half last season and now; we expect them to take the next step this season. Then our forwards, we'll look for big contributions from guys like Luka, Ben, and some other top-end players."

Brandon plays their first pre-season game on September 6. It's the Battle of Manitoba, as Brandon and Winnipeg square off at Westoba Place.

The regular season begins on Friday, September 20 on home ice against Winnipeg.

Dauphin's Easton Odut's hockey season continued last week, but not in Dauphin and not even in Canada. He played on Team North America at the 2019 Big Apple Classic (2007 edition) in New York.

Easton got the chance to play in the tournament through the Toronto pro hockey development program. The team ended up winning two games in the round-robin while they tied two games and lost one. That gave them a spot in the quarter-finals on the Championship side. In that game, Easton had two goals, but the team came up short in a 5-2 loss to Team CT BlueStreak.

"It was a lot of fun and it was a great experience. I really want to go back now," said Odut. 

They also played against Team Toronto, Team Knights on Broadway and Team St. Pats.

"It was really fun playing against tough teams, it was a good challenge," continued Odut. "One of the rinks was on a pier, so that was really cool."

Easton also got the chance to play with another player from the Parkland. McCreary's, Brady Turko joined Easton for the tournament. Brady ended up with four assists to his name.

"It was great playing with him. We always do well together," said Odut. 

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Just like Brady had success, so did Easton. He started the tournament off with a bang when he was awarded MVP in their first game. Overall in the tournament, Odut scored five goals and had four assists.

"It felt good to win the MVP because only one is chosen per game," said Odut. "It was for sure one of my good tournaments. Sometimes I have a good tournament and then a bad one, but this one was a good ones."

Playing the game wasn't the only thing Easton did. Alongside his brother Brier, his mom Whitney and dad, Mark, the family got to experience what an NHL dressing room liked it. Dauphin's, Barry Trotz gave his family a tour through the Islanders locker room. They also got to see the team's practice rink.

"It was cool seeing the rink and the dressing room was awesome," concluded Odut. "Barry also gave my brother and me some laces. It was just a great experience."

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In the fall, Easton will be a second-year Peewee.

The Grand Plains Celebrity Classic is set for next Saturday at the Gilbert Plains Country Club. All throughout the week, we've been revealing who will play at the event and that continues today. Today's "Celebrity" is former Calgary Hitmen and current Philadelphia Flyer, Travis Sanheim. 

Sanheim was drafted 17th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the Flyers. In his first full year with the team last year, Sanheim had 35 points in 82 games. 

His previous high was in the 2016-17 season when he had 37 points, with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. 

The Elkhorn native joins an already stacked field. Ryan Pulock, Colby Robak, Jayce Hawryluk and Micheal Ferland.

There is still room to signup for the tournament next Saturday. It's $125/player or $500 per team. Call the pro shop at 548-3030 to enter now.

The Parkland Source for Sports 4 on 4 Summer Hockey League is back again.

It will run from Monday, August 6 until Tuesday, August 20 and all games will be played at Credit Union Place. Each player will be guaranteed eight games.

Division #1 will consist of male and female players born from 2004-2006. Division #2 will consist of players born in 2004 and older. Players can register as an individual or a team. Individuals will be placed on a team. The registration fee is $160 per player. 

If you're born in 2004, you may be given the choice to play in both divisions, if spots are open. The cost would jump up only $80 to $240.

The deadline to register is next weekend.

"There are spots available in both divisions right now. It's a really good way to get back on the ice, there's no contact so it's just about getting the timing back," said Hedley. 

Just more than a week after the league ends, junior team camps will startup. That means there will be lots of solid competition for you to battle against.

"A lot of junior kids and AAA players come to prepare for their seasons and tryout camps," said Hedley. "There will be lots of young skilled guys as well, it's a good way to start the season."

If you'd like to register, head to Summer Hockey League. You can also email transfer to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Or, make a check payable to Next Level ST at Box 921, Dauphin, Manitoba, R7N 3J5.

Last week he nearly got a hole-in-one and won a tournament and now, Jackson Delaurier is back up near the top.

The Dauphinite placed second in yesterday's Westman Junior Golf Tour event. He shot an 86 and the winner shot an 81.

More Golf:

Dauphin Lake Golf Club's, Dalen Schulz is sticking around at the Manitoba Amateur Golf Championships. He shot an 82 yesterday and enters the final two rounds in a tie for 44th.