Ex-Wheaties captain honoured to be at Jets' first camp

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

WINNIPEG - Shayne Wiebe was grinning from ear-to-ear and why wouldn’t he be?

The Brandon product is thrilled to be among those chosen to take part in the first Winnipeg Jets rookie camp.

“It’s a pretty big honour just to be here in the first Jets camp,” said Wiebe, the former Brandon Wheat Kings captain. “Being in your home province makes it that much more exciting.”

Wiebe is coming off an excellent season that saw him produce a career-high 44 goals and match his career high of 65 points while appearing in all 72 games. He added four goals and eight points in six games against the Medicine Hat Tigers before joining the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League on an amateur tryout offer.

Although he only appeared in one AHL game last spring, the experience gave Wiebe a taste of the pro game.

“You see the pace of the game and how much quicker it is,” said Wiebe, who signed a contract with the St. John’s IceCaps this summer. “I got used to it last year and was ready for it when I got here (for rookie camp).

“I just want to progress and get better as the year goes on and show that I can play, hopefully (open) some eyes.”

Wiebe, 21, can put up points, but he also plays with an edge, which was evident as he helped the Wheat Kings reach the final of the Memorial Cup in Brandon in 2010.

ON THE MEND: A lingering hip flexor injury kept Winnipegger Jordan DePape off the ice on Sunday as the Jets prospects hit the ice for their second and final skate before departing for B.C. later in the afternoon.

DePape was able to get an off-ice workout in and St. John’s IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge said he was hopeful the forward would be able to suit up on Monday night as the Jets take on the San Jose Sharks (9:30 p.m. CT, Sports Radio 1290) in their first game of the 2011 YoungStars tournament in Penticton, B.C. DePape, 19, had 21 goals and 48 points in 54 games with the Kamloops Blazers last season and suffered the hip injury early in WHL training camp.

PROPS FOR FANS: Another crowd approaching 1,000 took in Sunday’s action at the MTS Iceplex, a fact that wasn’t lost on the players.

“The fans are really excited to have their team back,” said forward Adam Lowry, the Jets third round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. “I’m not used to practicing in front of that many people. We kind of joked that Swift Current gets that many fans for our games.”


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