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His OHL season may be over, but Hunter Brzustewicz is still skating


It wasn't the ending Hunter Brzustewicz was hoping for.

His Kitchener Rangers season came to an end last week as the London Knights swept them out of the Ontario Hockey League's playoffs.

It was an outstanding season for Brzustewicz, who was acquired by the Calgary Flames from the Vancouver Canucks as part of the Elias Lindholm trade.

Brzustewicz says it was hard saying goodbye to his teammates.

"It's very tough," said the 19-year-old.

"We had the closest group I've ever been a part of. It's all credit to our older guys -- they did a great job of bringing us together and welcoming the younger guys.

"We were just really emotional, but all around, it was a good year."

Still skating

There's a silver lining for Brzustewicz.

His OHL season may be over, but he's still skating.

He signed an amateur tryout with the Wranglers, who are starting their playoff push in Tucson on Wednesday night.

While Brzustewicz isn't with the Wranglers, he's in Calgary right now, skating with other prospects who make up the Wranglers' black aces.

He says there's been some things that have taken time to adjust to.

"It's been weird with the altitude in the air," he said.

"There's really no air here and my mouth gets dry a lot. But it's been great and I'm just excited to get started with them. They've (the Flames organization) been super welcoming and everyone has been super nice to me so far."

Working with Flames skating coach

For the past two days, Brzustewicz has been on the ice with Flames skating coach Danielle Fujita.

She's impressed with what she's seen so far.

"He's easy to worth with," she said.

"He's a smart kid and full of charisma, but genuine at the same time. When it comes to skating, he's spot-on with his skills. It's just a lack of efficiency here and there, so that's what we're aiming for the next couple of days."

Fresh set of eyes

Brzustewicz says it's been great working with Fujita and he thinks it will help him.

"It's always good to get a new voice in there and I like how she breaks things down. It's good to hear what she has to say and I've been learning a lot in just this short time."

Will he suit up?

As far as seeing any action with the Wranglers in the playoffs, Brzustewicz says he's not worried about that right now.

"I'm just looking at it to come and work hard. That's all I'm going to do is my best. If they end up calling me up, that's their choice. I'm just going to keep doing my thing."

The best-of-three series between the Wranglers and Roadrunners opens up Wednesday night.

Game 2 is Friday night and if necessary, the third and final game will be played on Sunday. Top Stories

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