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 Brandon Wheat Kings

First Rounder Surkan Eager to Prove Wheat Kings Right

May 14, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Brandon Wheat Kings News Release

The Brandon Wheat Kings knew they were getting an electric, highly skilled player in Chase Surkan, their first-round pick in the 2024 prospects draft. What they might not have known is they're getting a player with some extra motivation.

Surkan watched the first round of the draft with his family on Thursday, May 9, and given the season he'd just had, leading the Saskatchewan AA ranks in scoring, he had a reason to expect to hear his name called. In fact, he might've even been expecting to hear his name called sooner.

"I was getting a little nervous," Surkan said. "I thought I might've went a little higher up, I'd talked to a couple of those teams up there. But it was a sigh of relief to hear Brandon call my name, and I was really excited."

The Wheat Kings were thrilled Surkan fell to them, and Surkan is happy to be coming to Brandon too. There are a couple of reasons for this, and one of them is geographical. Surkan is a Regina native, and now gets to join a WHL club just up the Trans-Canada Highway from his hometown.

"It was awesome," said Surkan. "My parents will be able to watch most of my games in Brandon, so that'll be fun."

The other reason Surkan is excited for the chance to join the Wheat Kings is the team itself. Bolstered by a rising crop of young players, and with another batch of top prospects on the way, the Wheat Kings have expectations on them going forward, and Surkan knows it.

"I think they'll be a very talented team with lots of young talent," Surkan said. "They'll be a tough team to play against in the league for sure."

Another appeal of being selected by the Wheat Kings came 71 selections later, when Brandon went back to the Pat Blues for their selection. Surkan's teammate Ethan Young was the second of two selections for the Wheat Kings in the fourth round.

"It was awesome to be able to share the moment with him," Surkan said. "He's such a great player and I'm so excited."

Returning to school yesterday, Surkan found teachers and students alike waiting to congratulate him on being drafted. He said no one in his hometown has given him too much grief about joining the Wheat Kings just yet, despite their rivalry with the Regina Pats. In fact, he'll be wearing something like Pats colours next season as he starts his U18 AAA journey with the Regina Pat Canadians, a team he's already suited up in three games for and scored his first U18 goal.

"It's a lot faster, there are bigger kids out there," Surkan said. "I'm going to have to get bigger, for sure."

Surkan describes himself as a two-way winger who likes to play in the offensive zone, and use his shot to his advantage. He used an awful lot of offensive tools to his advantage this season, posting an incredible 135 points in 27 games, more points than anyone else in his league in the last 20 years, and the last time somebody surpassed his total was at a time when the league played twice as many games.

"I did have a sense of those records before, so I was obviously trying to break them," said Surkan. "But winning was the most important thing."

And Surkan and his Pat Blues teammates did a lot of winning this season. In fact, they claimed Saskatchewan's provincial championship, bolstered by Surkan's continued offensive dominance. The top sniper in the regular season led his team in the playoffs too, with 32 points in just nine games.

"It was awesome," he said. "Being on the losing end is not fun, and being able to win a championship was awesome."

Surkan added he plans to spend a lot of time in the gym this summer getting faster and stronger ahead of his first Wheat Kings' training camp.

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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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