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FUTURE WATCH | Season of change challenges Winquist to step up

by Meg Tilley / Edmonton Oilers

Photo by Mark Nessia / Bakersfield Condors.

They say if you fall seven times, you stand up eight.

Josh Winquist may not have fallen that many times, but if he didn’t get back up, he would not be where he is today.

“When I was little, I was about three years old, my parents took me skating for the first time and I fell down and I refused to play hockey again,” said Winquist.

“I said, ‘nope, this isn’t for me,’ and my parents weren’t going to force me to do anything I didn’t want to do. They just said, ‘okay, it’s your decision.’”

As he grew up, his dad continued to play in recreational leagues every weekend, piquing 7-year-old Winquist’s curiosity.

“I kind of wanted to play again because of him,” said Winquist. “I tried again and I just fell in love with it then.”

As a result, the St. Albert, AB native’s love of the game has taken him far.

Now, a forward with the Bakersfield Condors, Winquist has come a long way since his days of not wanting to skate and become what one could describe as a utility player.

“I’m a guy who can play on all four lines,” said the 22-year-old.

“I’ve played all three positions in the last two years so I’m kind of the guy who can role-play. I can play in the top six if you need offence but I can also play in the bottom six if you need a guy who’s going to work hard and provide energy for your team.”

This year, Winquist was able to display his strengths as a player at the Oilers Rookie Camp in September.

Unable to participate in the same camp last year due to an injury he sustained in the first game, Winquist had a chance to make up for lost time.

“It was pretty good,” he said.

“I found it a lot better this year and being one of the older guys I felt like I had to take on a leadership role and kind of help out through that way.

“Obviously, we did pretty well in the tournament. I just thought it was good to get to know a bunch of the guys and get to meet all the staff again and just get to meet everybody and get a chance to play with some of those great players.”

Photo by Mark Nessia / Bakersfield Condors.

He left quite the impression, finishing the 2015 Young Stars Classic with the tournament lead in points and goals.

Winquist stayed on after rookie camp ended and had the chance to participate in Oilers Training Camp as well.

“It’s not that much faster than the American league I played in last year,” said Winquist.

“It was more difficult though, because no one makes mistakes and everyone’s such a good player and works so hard. You have to get on that mentality to be able to give 100 percent every single time you’re out on the ice.”

Winquist’s growth as a player in the Western Hockey League (WHL) resulted in one of his most successful, and final, seasons with the Everett Silvertips, scoring 47 goals and adding 46 assists in 67 games for a total of 93 points.

“If the team has a centreman that goes out, you need to work on faceoffs in case you need to play centre that game,” he explained.

“And you’ve got to work on rim plays in case you’ve got to play wing that game. You’ve just got to work on every little attribute for every position to try and better yourself.”

Though he went undrafted, Winquist was offered an amateur tryout with the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League.

His hard work paid off when he was offered a one-year contract with the AHL team.

Though Winquist spent part of the 2014-15 season between the ECHL and AHL, his first professional season saw him record 23 points in 18 games with the (then ECHL) Condors, before he was re-called by the Barons.

Though it has been a season of change for the Oilers affiliate as the Barons are now the Condors after the formation of the AHL’s Pacific Division, the familiarity of the rink is an advantage to Winquist from his days playing in the ECHL.

“Last year when they were in the ECHL they had such good support from the fans,” said Winquist.

“They cared about the team so much and it was such a good feeling and they carried all of that over to this year when coming into the American (Hockey) League, fans are just always great here. It’s a great city.”

Ten games into the AHL season, Winquist has scored three goals and added four assists for a total of seven points.

“We’ve had a few losses that we maybe should have pulled out wins on because we had the lead for a little while, but you know we have a really good group of guys and I think we have a really good team and we have a chance for something special this year,” said Winquist.

Photo by Mark Nessia / Bakersfield Condors.

“We have a lot of skill and a lot of guys that can put the puck in the net, so that’s always exciting but we also have very good goaltending and a strong defensive core.”

Winquist was twice passed over in the NHL draft but ended up signing with an AHL team after an amateur tryout. He played 301 regular season games over five full WHL seasons with a breakout final year.

His passion for the game has fuelled his desire to pursue it.

“You just fall in love with it the more you do it,” he said nonchalantly.

But the most important move he made occurred when he was young, because when he fell, he chose to stand back up.


Statistics For In The System Through Past Seasons: 14-15 | 13-14 | 12-13 | 11-12
Stats Updated as of Wednesday, November 11 2015

Bakersfield (AHL) - Forwards


Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM
BRADEN CHRISTOFFER LW 21 10 0 1 1 -5 4
LEON DRAISAITL C 20 6 1 1 2 -5 4
MATTHEW FORD*   RW 31 10 5 4 9 -5 8
RYAN HAMILTON   LW 30 9 4 0 4 -5 6
KALE KESSY   LW 22 8 1 2 3 +1 12
JUJHAR KHAIRA   LW 21 10 3 3 6 +2 0
ALEXIS LOISEAU   C 21 3 0 1 1 +3 0
ANDREW MILLER   RW/C 27 8 2 4 6 +1 6
MITCH MOROZ   LW 21 10 1 3 4 +1 24
PHILIP MCCRAE* C 23 9 2 0 2 -4 4
IIRO PAKARINEN   RW 24 4 1 2 3 0 4
TYLER PITLICK   RW 23 3 0 0 0 -1 0
KYLE PLATZER RW 20 10 1 2 3 -2 0
ANTON SLEPYSHEV LW 21 2 0 0 0 0 0
JOSH WINQUIST   LW 22 7 3 4 7 +3 20
BOGDAN YAKIMOV   C/W 21 10 2 2 4 -1 6
DANIIL ZHARKOV (INJURED)
LW 21 - - - - - -
Bakersfield (AHL) - Defencemen


Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM
MARTIN GERNAT   d 23 4 0 0 0 +1 0
brad hunt   D 27 10 3 7 10 -8 4
JOEY LALEGGIA   D 23 10 0 3 3 +5 14
DAVID MUSIL D 22 10 1 1 2 +5 6
NIKITA NIKITIN   D 29 4 0 3 3 -2 0
DARNELL NURSE   D 20 6 0 1 1 0 7
JORDAN OESTERLE   d 23 8 0 3 3 -5 4
NICK PAGEAU   D 27 6 0 0 0 -5 2
DILLON SIMPSON (INJURED) D 22 - - - - - -
Norfolk (ECHL)


Name POS age    GP G A P +/- PIM
BEN BETKER D 21 9 0 2 2 -2 2
GREG CHASE F 20 9 4 2 6 -3 16
Canadian Hockey League
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
CALEB JONES  D 18 16 4 9 13 +4 19 PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS (WHL)
ETHAN BEAR  D 18 17 4 13 17   +6 12 SEATTLE THUNDERBIRDS (WHL)
NCAA & USHL
Name POS age  GP G A P +/- PIM team
EVAN CAMPBELL   LW 21 8 1 3 4 0 6 UMASS-LOWELL (NCAA)
WILLIAM LAGESSON
D 19 9 1 2 3 +3 8 UMASS-AMHERST (NCAA)
JOHN MARINO d 18 13 1 9 10 +1 8 TRI-CITY (USHL)
AIDAN MUIR LW 20 8 1 0 1 -2 4 WESTERN MICHIGAN (NCAA)
TYLER VESEL   C 21 10 0 4 4 +3 0 NEBRASKA-OMAHA (NCAA)
Europe
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
ROMAN HORAK C 24 26 6 7 13 -1 16 CHEKHOV VITYAZ (KHL)
PHILIP LARSEN   D 25 20 1 11 12 +6 4 JOKERIT HELSINKI (FINLAND)
ZIYAT PAIGIN  F 20 3 1 1 2 0 0 KAZAN AK-BARS (KHL)
ANTTI TYRVAINEN  F 26 12 5 1 6 +1 24 ILVES TAMPERE (finland)
2016 World Junior Hockey Championships
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
CHECK BACK DURING THE TOURNAMENT                 
Goaltenders
Name age GP w l T GAA SV% team
KEVEN BOUCHARD   19 11 2 7 1 4.97 .847 baie-comeau (qmjHL)
LAURENT BROSSOIT 22 7 4 2 1 2.55 .927 bakersfield (AHL)
EETU LAURIKAINEN 22 1 0 1 0 4.02 .818 BAKERSFIELD (aHL)
ZACH NAGELVOORT   21 4 3 1 0 3.00 .878 michigan (ncaa)
BEN SCRIVENS   29 2 0 2 0 4.57 .857 bakersfield (ahl)
MIROSLAV SVOBODA   20 1 0 1 0 6.00 .750 TRINEC OCELARI (CZECH)
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