Henke comes home

DEREK VAN DIEST, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 7:37 AM ET

Brent Henke has the size to play in the Western Hockey League.

And last season the local product developed a pretty deft touch around the net as well.

Henke scored 21 goals in 34 games for the Canadian Athletic Club Midget AAA squad last season. This year he's looking to transfer some of that scoring to the major junior level with the Edmonton Oil Kings.

"Throughout my hockey career, I haven't been much of a goal scorer up until last year," Henke said. "I think this year I'm going to try and put the puck in the net as much as possible. But I'm also going to bring that physical element to the team that I can with my size. And it's also important not to be a defensive liability."

At six-foot-three, 195-pounds it would be a surprise if Henke was not able to crack the Oil Kings roster once training camp gets underway on Monday.

Henke was selected by the Oil Kings in the WHL expansion. His rights belonged to the Kootenay Ice.

"I thought it was a good opportunity for me getting selected by Edmonton, it was a chance to play at home in front of your friends and family and I was very excited to be picked up by the Oil Kings," Henke said. "I'm excited about camp. My main goal is to give myself a good chance to make the team by going out there and doing everything I can and do what I do best."

Initially Henke was upset when he didn't stick with the Ice as a 16-year-old last season. But in hindsight, it might have helped his development getting a lot of ice time in midget hockey.

"We really like his size," said Oil Kings general manager Bob Green. "He's a big, strong kid that plays a solid two-way game. He's gotten a little bit stronger over the summer which is great and being a local guy, I think he's pretty excited about being here and competing for a job."


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