Saturday November 22, 2014

Pastachak sought by WHL after strong season


Lynnden Pastachak’s hockey career is looking pretty promising these days.

The 15-year-old forward from Bienfait recently completed a stellar rookie season with the Yorkton Harvest of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League, and also turned heads at the Estevan Bruins’ spring prospects camp earlier this month.

Now the Red Deer Rebels are after Pastachak’s services.

He will attend the team’s prospects camp in June.

“They’ve been saying I have the skills that not many players have to put the puck in the net and being in the right spot at the right time, it’s kind of like a sixth sense,” said Pastachak.

“What they’ve been saying is not many players have that.”

He said he plans to pursue the Western Hockey League rather than the U.S. college route.

“I’d like to go for the WHL and try to take that route because of the number of names that have been coming out of there and making the NHL,” he said.

Pastachak, who turns 16 in June, scored 16 goals and 31 points in 42 games with the Harvest this season. That was enough to put him third in scoring on the team.

It was his first year of midget hockey after graduating from the Estevan bantam AA club.

“I thought it might take a little bit to get going at the start of the year, but then I got my wheels going and got my hands back and I just started putting up the points. I didn’t think I’d be doing that well right off the bat,” said Pastachak.

“Mostly my teammates were either drafted or picked up throughout the year, so they helped a lot, finding me in the slot and (allowing) me to bury it.”

The Harvest (10-30-3-1) finished 11th in the league and missed the playoffs.

Two months after his season ended, Pastachak attended the Bruins’ spring camp the weekend of April 14 and was widely considered one of the best forwards there, despite the presence of many 1994- and 1995-born players who are expected to make a run at a roster spot next year.

“I was basically a nobody going into camp. They didn’t know me that well. I got listed halfway through the year with the Bruins. Going into it, I didn’t think I’d really get noticed as much as I did,” he said.

“My first couple of games, I didn’t have my wheels, but as the weekend went on I got my wheels back and started clicking a little bit with my linemates and they ended up feeding me a lot of points. It felt good to get out there and skate and maybe get a B on my chest in the fall.”

A strong camp with the Bruins in the fall could give Pastachak a chance to make the team, and he said he’s not ruling it out.

“I think I could. It’d be a lot of training in the summer and trying to get prepared, maybe gain a little bit more weight and grow a little more.“



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