730 CKDM - The Parklands Best

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 11:03

Ex-Parkland Ranger attempting to make WHL roster

After three seasons playing in the Parkland Rangers organization and one year of playing in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, 17-year-old, Lane Kirk is attempting to crack a roster in the WHL full time this season.

The Swan River native began his competitive hockey career with the Bantam AAA Parkland team, where he spent two seasons. In 64 games with the team, Kirk recorded 58 points.

He then went on to play with the Midget AAA Parkland Rangers. In 37 games with the Rangers, Kirk recorded 26 points and 65 penalty minutes.

"In my first year of Bantam with Parkland, we won Provincials, so that was a great experience," said Kirk. "During the second year, I was leaned on a little more with the experience I gained in the prior year. Then in my first year Midget, we didn't make the playoffs, but overall it was a really good season."

Kirk then took the next step in his hockey career and joined the Swan Valley Stampeders last season.

"The MJHL is definitely a lot bigger, a lot older and stronger," said Kirk. "You didn't have as much time to make decisions. Everything you did had to be a lot harder, and if you weren't thinking ahead, you'll end up on your knees."

Kirk also spent three games in the WHL last year with the Prince Albert Raiders, but this year, he is trying to crack the Raiders roster full time.

"I don't really know what the chances of making this team are this year," said Kirk. "We have a pretty young group, so I'm just going to play the best game I can, and hopefully stick around for a while."

With the WHL being a step ahead of the MJHL, Kirk knows the challenges first hand.

"It's quite a bit faster, and not as rugged," said Kirk. "Every level you go up, the game gets faster, the guys are stronger and the skill level gets better. Everything has to be quicker, faster and harder if you want to get to the next level and succeed in the WHL."

Kirk notes that during tryouts for the Raiders, he is trying to not change his routine, by waking up the same time, eating the same thing in the morning, and driving to school the same way.

In two games with the Raiders so far in the preseason, Kirk is a plus three.


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