Wheat Kings welcome Schenn

CRASH CAMERON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:11 AM ET

It was an early Christmas present.

Except that the gift likely won’t be present during Christmas.

Brandon Wheat Kings boss Kelly McCrimmon fully expects his best player to be on Team Canada for the World Junior championships in Buffalo.

But McCrimmon wasn’t completely sure that the Los Angeles Kings would return 19-year-old Brayden Schenn to his clutches.

“It’s real good news for our team, even though his stay will be short with the World Junior camp starting in a week,” the president/GM/coach of the team Friday. “But it’s closure for our team, knowing he’ll be part of the program going forward.

“We were unsure,” McCrimmon said of what the NHL Kings were going to do with their fifth-overall pick from the 2009 draft. They could have kept him around like the Toronto Maple Leafs did with his older brother Luke Schenn.

“I think it was a real tough decision for L.A.,” said McCrimmon.

“They really liked Brayden and wanted to see where the best fit was for him.

“I’ve been in pretty steady communication with Los Angeles since the first of November and it was hard to gauge which way it might go.

“And when they recalled him from Manchester (L.A.’s AHL affiliate), I think they decided that going back to Brandon would be the best for his development.”

And it may be fortunate for Brandon’s development, as the team has struggled with consistency the season after hosting the Memorial Cup.

“We’re not where we want to be right now,” said McCrimmon. “We think we are a better than what our record is.

“At the same time, we in a results business so it’s on us to get more consistency to our game.”

Schenn did not suit up against Edmonton Friday but may join the squad in Red Deer Saturday.


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