Photo courtesy of Brandon Wheat Kings
Steinbach Pistons’ alumni James Shearer was recently bestowed the tremendous honour of being named the 61st captain of the storied Brandon Wheat Kings.
Shearer, 20, described the honour as surreal, while playing for his hometown Wheat Kings. The move comes after Brandon traded former captain Tanner Kaspick to the Victoria Royals at the WHL trade deadline.
“It’s obviously a huge honour,” said Shearer. “There has been a lot of great leaders here and I’ve looked up to all of them. With Kaspy (Tanner Kaspick) leaving, it’s tough but I learned a lot from him and I’ll take that and try and continue on here with the guys.”
The former Manitoba Junior Hockey League Rookie of the Year (2014-15) joined the Wheat Kings after one season with the Pistons and has quickly become a fan favourite on and off the ice. Last season he was named the Wheat Kings “Most Community Minded” Player and given the award named after Frank King.
“Ryan Pulock was a big influence on me, as well as Macoy Erkamps and Nolan Patrick,” added Shearer. “They were all great leaders and I’m going to take little bits of what I learned from each of them and try and lead the best I can.”
Shearer, who was a member of the Wheat Kings WHL Championship team in 2015/2016 has had a tough start to his final year in the WHL. An off-season Achilles Tendon injury required surgery and several months of intense rehab. Now back in the lineup with an extra piece of cloth sewn on his sweater, the Brandon native is ready for the challenge.
“I’ll definitely say what needs to be said when it’s needed,” Shearer said. “You can’t be talking all game long and get on the guy’s backs. I’ll just try and lead by example and do the best I can. We have a lot of other great leaders on the team and it all helps out moving forward.”