Airdrie’s Barrett Sheen is on the move for the second time in his junior hockey career after being dealt by the Kootenay ICE to the Moose Jaw Warriors Nov. 13.
Sheen joins his third team in three seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) and said he is excited for the new experience.
“It was a bit of a surprise, but it’s a good change for me,” Sheen said.
“It’s taken some time to get used to (the new team). But I think every game, I’m getting more comfortable, getting to know everyone and getting to play my game.”
The 19-year-old goes from a team with a sub-.500 record in a dogfight for playoff position with the ICE, to a team with high expectations coming into the 2017-18 season.
Through the first quarter of the season, the Warriors have an 18-5-0-0 record, putting them atop the entire WHL with 36 points. The team has gotten off to a hot start and Sheen hopes he can add to its positive play.
“I want to help them keep doing what they’re doing. They started really well and I just have to help them win games like they have been,” Sheen said.
It didn’t take the forward long to make an impact on his new team. Sheen found himself in the team’s lineup for a game against the Swift Current Broncos the day he arrived. He got a goal and an assist in the 7-4 victory and followed up with an assist Nov. 15 against the Saskatoon Blades in a losing effort.
Sheen said it was tough coming into the lineup so quickly after being traded and played as best as he could with little time to get used to the team’s systems and playing style.
“You’ve just got to try and do your best,” Sheen said. “Guys gave me help with how they play, but I did what I could to be useful.”
A friendly face from Sheen’s past helped the Airdronian with his transition to his new team, as Brayden Burke – who was a teammate during Sheen’s rookie season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in 2015-16 – is also with the Warriors and is looked to as a leader.
“It definitely helps knowing someone, so you can get into the room and get to know the guys,” Sheen said.
One of the most exciting aspects of joining the Warriors, according to Sheen, is playing under longtime NHL power forward Tim Hunter. Hunter, like Sheen, played his game with an edge when he needed to, but also played with finesse to contribute on the scoresheet.
“(Hunter) is a really good coach. He has been around and knows a lot,” Sheen said. “I have to take what I can from him and use it in my game to make myself better.”