Sports stats

 Brandon Wheat Kings

Hadland Perseveres as Wheat Kings Lone Iron Man

March 27, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Brandon Wheat Kings News Release

So much changed for the better for Caleb Hadland in his sophomore season with the Brandon Wheat Kings. He was more confident, more productive offensively, more trusted in all three zones, and most importantly, healthier.

In a year where everything from illness to injury to suspension kept players out of their lineup, the second-year forward was the lone constant for the Wheat Kings. Hadland was the only player on the roster to suit up for all 68 games in the 2023-24 season.

"It's pretty special," Hadland said. "Last year, I missed quite a few games so this year being able to play in every game was pretty cool and a new experience for me."

Last season, Hadland missed 30 games thanks to an injury suffered at the World Under-17 Championships. It was a long road back for the young man, who put in the work off the ice to ensure he wouldn't have to go through another process like that again.

"It was a long two months for me at home," Hadland said, "slowly working my way up to game speed. It took a little bit, but thankfully, no injuries this year."

The Wheat Kings have been glad that's the case. Not only did Hadland set new career highs in every statistical category (he finished the season with 39 points after just seven points the year prior) he was on the ice in absolutely every situation. Whether the team was on the power play or the penalty kill, up a goal or down a goal late, in overtime or the shootout (he had both an overtime and shootout winner this year), Hadland was someone they were regularly sending over the boards.

"He's kind of a coach's dream," said head coach and GM Marty Murray. "Sometimes you have to remember he's still 17 and there are still things he's learning to do but at the same time, we appreciate as a staff what he brings to the table day in and day out. He's an important piece of our team and he plays in every situation. He's chipped in with offense this year and been responsible at both ends of the rink. He's an important player for us."

That importance will be magnified when round one begins. The Moose Jaw Warriors boast an impressive array of weaponry, including the league's leading scorer in Jagger Firkus, and you can expect Hadland to get matched up against some of those top scorers throughout the series.

"We want to build our identity and play the hard game that we usually play," Hadland said. "If we carry that into the playoffs, hopefully we can come out with a couple of series wins."

Puck drop on the opening game of the series with Moose Jaw will be at 8:00 Central Time on Friday, March 29.

• Discuss this story on the Western Hockey League message board...

Western Hockey League Stories from March 27, 2024

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.

Other Recent Brandon Wheat Kings Stories

Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew
OurSports Central