Calgary Flames prospect Keith Aulie lists Robyn Regehr as his favourite player in the National Hockey League.
“I always kind of liked the way he played,” said Aulie, a fourth-year defenceman with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League. “If there’s one guy that’s similar to the way I play, I think that he’s that guy. He plays solid, plays from his own end, hits hard, can shoot, can pass and is a good leader.”
Before Aulie returned to play for the Wheat Kings this season, the 6-foot-6, 218-pound blueliner attended training camp with the Flames where he saw the dedication and hard work it takes to play for an NHL squad.
|Keith Aulie |
“You know what to expect, you know how hard it’s going to be,” said Calgary’s fourth round pick (116th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. “You know what you’ve got to do to get yourself out there and show them what you’ve got. Every time you go to something like that it helps you out.”
Aulie’s Wheat Kings will suit up against the Calgary Hitmen on Sunday November 30 at the Pengrowth Saddledome for the 14th annual Petro-Canada Teddy Bear Toss game (5 p.m., Fan 960).
In 26 games for the 14-10-1-1 Wheat Kings this season, Aulie has yet to score a goal, although he has put up 14 assists.
“We’ve been part of a lot of hard games this year,” Aulie said. “It looks like it’s going to be competitive all year long. We’ve got to focus on playing good defensively and work it out from our own end.”
This season, Brandon coach and general manager Kelly McCrimmon gave Aulie some added responsibilities by naming him team captain.
“When I came here as a 16-year old looking at their captains, I always wanted to be a leader on this team,” he said. “I really don’t think the C on the jersey is a big thing. Your actions and what you do off the ice is the big thing. I think we’ve got lots of guys on the team that are like that, so it’s a good situation.”
Aulie also attended Canada’s National Junior Team evaluation camp in Ottawa this past summer and helped Team WHL beat the Russian Selects 5-0 in Swift Current on Wednesday during the fifth game of the 2008 Canada-Russia Challenge.
While he’s under consideration to play for Canada at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships in Ottawa, Aulie also has his sights set on helping Brandon improve in the WHL’s competitive Eastern Conference standings.
“I’m just looking forward to the rest of the season,” he said. “We’ve got lots of room for improvement so far. We know we’ve got a good team this year and we’ll try and take it as far as we can.”