GET TO KNOW....
MICHAEL FERLAND Q:
Who is your favourite NHL player? A:
Pavel Datsyuk Q:
Do you have any game day rituals or superstitions? A:
I have go out onto the ice last on the team. Q:
Game day meals? A:
Chicken Pizza sub from subway. Q:
What is on your iPod right now? A:
I listen to a wide variety of rock. Q:
Favourite WHL rink to play in? A:
Calgary. I like the rink and have always had success here in the Saddledome.
The Calgary Flames 5th round selection, (133rd overall) of the 2010 NHL entry draft was Michael Ferland from the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League.
Ferland, 18, was born Swan Lake, Man. When he was two years old, his mother, younger brother and older sister moved to Brandon, Man., where they have called home ever since. He began his hockey adventure at a young age playing on the outdoor ponds in his local community.
“I started when I was eight years old and played house league all the way up to my first year in midget when I made the Triple A team,” said Ferland. “I was always on the outdoor rinks playing hockey as a kid other than that.”
Ferland is currently in his second full season with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Unfortunately for Ferland, the beginning of the season was sidetracked as he missed the first 16 games with a knee injury.
“During training camp in Brandon, I went to hit somebody and twisted my knee and had to get surgery for my meniscus,” he explained. “I was out for a couple months with that and then got another injury after that. I cut my leg in a fight and was out for a couple more games.”
After surgery, he was only in the line-up for seven games before cutting his leg forcing him to miss almost another month.
“At the beginning it was tough. It was clicking and really hard to get back to a 90 degree angle. It’s feeling a lot better now though. I had to come to the rink every day and heat it up and stretch it. It’s perfect now.”
Since then, the 6-foot-2, 208-pound winger has taken off with the Wheat Kings offensively. He is currently tied for fifth on his team in scoring with 34 points (12g, 22a) in 36 games played.
“I’ve been keeping my feet moving and my linemates have been playing really well lately. Right now it’s me, [Scott] Glennie and [David] Toews. Things are going good for us. I have a lot more room out there with the puck and I feel a lot better than I did last year. I have a lot more ice time.”
The Brandon Wheat Kings were hosts to the 2010 Memorial Cup Championship. Ferland was enjoying his first season in the WHL and is more than thankful to have been able to be a part of the exciting event. He finished the 2009-10 season with 28 points (9g, 19a) in 61 games played.
“Last year was a really good year especially with the Memorial Cup, it was really exciting. That’s a once in a lifetime thing. I’m really lucky I was able to be around and be a part of that. Everyone was into it in Brandon. There was a lot of energy in the town, it was great.”
After the Memorial Cup was over, the 2010 NHL entry draft was just around the corner in June. Little did Ferland know that he would be selected by the Calgary Flames and his hockey career would become professional.
“It was a great feeling, I don’t know how to explain it,” said Ferland. “I was in a ball hockey tournament when I got the phone call. I was just really excited. I didn’t know what to think. I couldn’t even believe it, it was just a really good feeling.”
Flames management had a chance to meet with Ferland to chat about where he was at and what they needed him to work on to improve and get to that next level over the next few years.
“They told me to do what I did last year to get myself drafted pretty much,” he said. “Just work hard and keep doing what I’m doing and I’d get there. It was a big confidence booster. I knew I had to take it a lot more serious with my training. I had a good, hard summer and feel a lot better this year than I did last year.”
Author: Kristi Hennessy