Wheat Kings flying high

ADAM WAZNY -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

No coincidence that the hottest team in the East Division possesses the hottest player in the Western Hockey League.

On the strength of a 3-0-0-1 record last week, the Brandon Wheat Kings have shot up to the top of their division, leading the Regina Pats and Swift Current Broncos by a point (heading into last night's action).

Brandon has an overall record of 6-4-0-1 and has done it with offence so far this season.

The line of Andrew Clark, Mark Derlago and Ryan Reaves has carried the bulk of the mail for the Wheaties. The trio was instrumental in two road wins over the weekend, combining for 16 points in the two games. Derlago, who led the club with 28 goals a season ago, leads all Brandon scorers with 16 points (eight goals) in 11 games.

While the 20-year-old Derlago has been hot, his temperature is cool in relation to Clark.

Named the WHL player of the week on Monday, the Brandon-product registered 11 points in the four games, scoring three times. Clark, 18, is eligible for the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

The Wheaties are at home this weekend, taking on the Lethbridge Hurricanes tomorrow and the Kootenay Ice Saturday at the Keystone Centre.

SHIPPING WHEAT: Brandon head coach Kelly McCrimmon was busy away from the bench, too.

McCrimmon, who also doubles as the Wheat Kings' general manager, shipped goaltender Kurt Jory to the Moose Jaw Warriors for a fifth round draft choice in the 2008 WHL bantam draft last week.

Moving the 19-year-old Brandon-native opens the door for Winnipegger Joe Caligiuri. The former Winnipeg Wild standout (the 17-year-old posted a 2.04 GAA with five shutouts in the Manitoba AAA Midget league last season) will serve as the back-up for top 'tender Tyler Plante.

Earlier this week, Brandon moved 17-year-old forward Michael Proudley to the Chilliwack Bruins for a fifth round pick in the 2007 bantam draft.

Proudley, from Winnipeg, had been playing with the Neepawa Natives of the MJHL after not making the Brandon roster.


Videos

Photos