The Brandon Wheat Kings trust young goaltender Carson Bjarnason to be their replacement this season.
The Carberry, MB product won a battle between a few goalies in the Wheat Kings system, despite some disadvantage. Bjarnason was not drafted into the WHL and is only 16 years old; securing a spot on a WHL list, under these circumstances, is a rare event. He describes his initial reaction to the creation of the list.
âI wasn’t a 2005 draft draft so I was clearly nervous and had my doubts but in the end I made my way to the top. They signed me and then me. said I was part of the team, âBjarnason explains. “I was super ecstatic at the time, but I realized that was when all the work really started. So I had to hit the reset button and start all over.”
He says being a goalie has taught him to keep his emotions in check, which Bjarnason says has been crucial in his WHL career so far. The goalie played with RINK Hockey Academy last season where he only played two games due to COVID-19, however, he says it has prepared him well for the road ahead. Bjarnason says even with great preparation it’s always been a really big transition.
âObviously all the guys at this level are bigger, stronger, faster and they all have harder hits. The games develop faster, especially in your own zone,â Bjarnason said. “You really have to adapt to the pace of the game, but that also comes with time. So I’m sure in a little while I’ll be doing great.”
Bjarnason says his main focus on his first starts will be to prove he belongs at this level. He knows he was an underdog coming to training camp and he says he will keep that mentality and use it to his advantage.
The local goalkeeper gives a message to young athletes striving for success.
âKeep working. When you reach a certain level you can’t just be happy with what you have. Once you get there you basically have to start over, that’s how it will be with each level that you have. will jump. âBjarnason explains. “The main things I took away are always to work hard no matter what and you can’t be too comfortable where you are at.”
The Wheat Kings will be in action next tomorrow against the Saskatoon Blades.