This week's Strathmore Motor Products King of the Week is second-year defenseman Lachlan Stewart from Strathmore.
Along with playing two years for the Kings, Lachlan was also called up as an affiliated player while he was in U18. Being a part of the King's organization for the last three years, Lachlan is enjoying the team dynamic and the work ethic that the team has this season, "It's really good this year, this team looks good and we're definitely working hard."
For Lachlan, he feels the team as a whole has definitely improved since the start of the season and the defense has stepped up in a big way over the last month.
"The skill level is high with the defense this year and it definitely makes a difference when breaking out and even getting in the zone. Our defense this year is pretty offensive, a lot of them are really smart with their offensive plays which has been really good for the team."
When it comes to personal goals and improvements, Lachlan wants to see his skill level develop.
"This season I'd like to get a bit more offensive, I'm really a stay-at-home D-man at the net. I like protecting my goalie but I'd like to get more offensive that would be a nice thing to improve on."
Lachlan said the team is really starting to come into their own this season, especially after getting out of the early season struggles and finding themselves with a few more wins.
"I think the whole team could agree we're just showing up ready to play the game and just being a lot more mentally prepared, it's been a lot nicer not being on a losing streak."
Although Lachlan was involved with other sports in school like basketball, volleyball, and badminton, his first passion was always hockey.
"I've been playing hockey since I was three, I was on one of the last hockey teams in Gleichen, the Gleichen Gunners, and I just continued playing from there and I have great support from my family so that always helps."
Lachlan was one of five kids growing up with four older sisters he chuckled saying, "It was an adventure let's say, they toughened me up big time that's for sure, and they all played hockey too." Stewart did say it wasn't all bad, one good thing was he got his own equipment, no hand me downs there.
Getting to play in front of a hometown crowd is something that he and the rest of the team do not take for granted knowing they have some of the best fans in the league.
"It's honestly just amazing the support Strathmore gives us, it really just helps boost the team if the fans are going, we're going and it just gets everyone excited."
One thing he appreciates about being a part of the Wheatland Kings is being a part of what they do to give back on the ice and off the ice. This past Sunday the Kings had the Timbits out to play during an intermission which Lachlan said was a total highlight for him.
"In a way, you see where we all started and some players didn't have the help that an older junior team would have given like the Kings can and I think it's pretty motivational for the younger ones and it was just a lot of fun for us."
Stewart is in his second official season with the Kings, and after being called up while he was playing U18 he feels he can offer some guidance and leadership to the new players this season, “You know just point them in the right direction, of course, you always want other players to do better than you did (as a rookie) and always want to help them out.”
The Wheatland Kings will be back on the ice this Saturday night at home taking on the Cochrane Generals, one of the top teams in the league, game time is 8 pm.
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