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 Brandon Wheat Kings

20-Year-Old Wiens Fit in Perfectly as a Wheat King

April 16, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Brandon Wheat Kings News Release

After 163 games with the Saskatoon Blades, playing just three hours away from his hometown of Carrot River, Jayden Wiens suddenly had to load up his hockey gear and come play out his final WHL season with a team more than twice as far from home. As it turned out, he loved it.

Wiens was acquired from the Blades right before the season began and made the journey to Brandon just in time for opening night, having already played three preseason games with Saskatoon. As positive as the move ended up being for both him and the Wheat Kings, it wasn't easy at first.

"It was a little bit of a shock at first," Wiens said. "I'd never been traded before, so it was a new experience for me. Once I got to Brandon, it was a whole different feeling for me. I loved Brandon right from when I got there. It's a smaller town, which I like. It worked out for the best, I think."

On the ice, Wiens's fearless style meshed perfectly with the identity the Wheat Kings tried to create for themselves. Off the ice, he found another reason to love the city: his new teammates.

"It was nerve-wracking the first day, walking into the room and meeting everyone for the first time," Wiens said. "But honestly, that was probably the closest group of guys I've played with. From November and December, that's where we got really tight. It's a great group of guys and I had a bunch of fun with them."

What helped Wiens get accustomed to his new teammates was a lengthy road trip in the early part of the season. Beginning on October 11 against the Lethbridge Hurricanes and continuing through the United States, the Wheat Kings went on a road trip that lasted nearly two weeks, and Wiens quickly got to know his fellow Wheat Kings.

"I was telling my parents actually that probably the best thing that could've happened was going on that trip when I got there," the 2003-born forward said. "That's when you want guys to start becoming a team. It worked out really well for us, we were together for 12, 13 days."

Offensively, Wiens found a new level to his game in Brandon, especially in the final month of the season as he tried to propel an injury-riddled squad into the playoffs. He finished with career highs in goals (25) and points (44) and played 67 games for the first time in his career as well.

"At the start I thought I struggled a bit on the offensive side," Wiens said. "After Christmas it was a whole lot better. I started putting some pucks in the net, and I thought that last ten or 15 games for me was huge. I'm a playoff kind of player, that's where I kind of shine."

Through the regular season and playoffs, one thing was clear: the Wheat Kings gained not just Wiens in the trade with Saskatoon but also 973 new fans. The entire population of Carrot River seemed to be completely in his corner from the instant he was traded.

"It's second to none here," said Wiens. "It doesn't matter where I'm playing, we've got people trying to come to every game. They had a blast coming. Their support is second to none. I don't think too many guys get that from their hometown so I'm pretty lucky."

From here, Wiens's hockey career will enter uncharted territory for the first time since he joined the Blades as a 16-year-old. He plans to play U Sports hockey next season and is weighing several options. When he looks back on the path that led him there, he'll think of one thing most of all.

"It probably won't be the time on the ice, it'll be the time off the ice with the guys," said Wiens. "In 15 years I probably won't remember too many games but I'll remember the time with the guys."

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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