New player in neighbourhood

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:46 AM ET

Brett Sonne used to cut Andrew Ladd's grass and now they're playing on the same team.

Sonne, a 15-year-old from Maple Ridge, B.C., joined the Calgary Hitmen yesterday for their final two regular-season games and the playoff run.

The kid said it's amazing to be playing with Ladd after living next door to him in B.C. for years.

"He lives right beside me and Steve Covington (Ladd's cousin) lives up the street," said Sonne, who turns 16 in May.

"They played on my brother's team. I'd also see them on the street and they'd cut our grass and we'd cut their grass, so it's a small world when you look at the odds of two neighbours playing on the same team in the WHL.

"It just doesn't happen very often, so it's pretty cool."

Sonne, who was Calgary's first pick in last year's bantam draft, comes to the Hitmen after his Port Coquitlam Buckeroos were eliminated from the Pacific International Junior Hockey League playoffs in the second round.

But he said the year of junior hockey was a big learning experience.

"Going into junior B as a little kid looking up to all these guys is a little nerve-racking because all these guys are big and they've all got beards and stuff. But you understand why you're there. There's a reason why you're there, so hard work got me through and

I learned lots," Sonne said.

Sonne led the Buckeroos in scoring with 19 goals and 33 assists in 45 games but the youngster, who played five games with the Hitmen this season, admits there's more to his game than just scoring

"I got lots of opportunities and chances to get experience at that level but I don't really consider myself a one-dimensional player," he said.

"I love to score, I love to set up other players, I love to hit."

He's also going to love the Hitmen's final two regular season games, beginning tonight in Lethbridge (7 p.m., FAN 960).

"It'll be one of the best experiences I've ever gone through in hockey," said Sonne, who practised on a line with fellow rookies Keegan Dansereau and Isaac Reid.

"I'm not planning on taking other people's ice time away. I'm going to use every opportunity to the fullest and work my butt off when I get on the ice and give the team some energy during the next few games and playoffs."


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