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Lethbridge Hurricanes’ Cotton and Wheatcroft enjoying time in AJHL

Click to play video: 'Pair of Lethbridge Hurricanes enjoying stop in AJHL'
Pair of Lethbridge Hurricanes enjoying stop in AJHL
WATCH: In the eight months since the WHL season ended, Lethbridge Hurricanes players like Alex Cotton and Chase Wheatcroft have been anxious to get back on the ice together. This weekend the pair did so, but as members of different teams in a different league. Danica Ferris has more. – Nov 10, 2020

A pair of Lethbridge players are among a handful of Hurricanes teammates taking a spin in a different league, while the Western Hockey League (WHL) allows temporary player transfers.

Chase Wheatcroft and Alex Cotton faced off as members of different teams in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) over the weekend; Cotton for the Canmore Eagles, and Wheatcroft for his hometown Calgary Canucks.

“It was weird seeing him on the other side of the rink for warmup,” said Wheatcroft. “Not cheering for him this time around was kind of weird.”

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Cotton says despite the teammate relationship the two normally share, that didn’t stop some chirping under the current circumstances.

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“Yeah he was running his mouth a bit, and I had to tell him to quiet down,” Cotton laughed.

For Cotton, the stop in Canmore follows a dream coming true last month, as the defenseman was taken in the fifth round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings.

“It’s been a crazy, crazy month,” said Cotton. “Lots of phone calls, lots of interviews and stuff like that… I’m so happy to be a part of the Red Wings’ organization.”

But now it’s back to the junior hockey grind for both Cotton and Wheatcroft, as they prepare to return to Lethbridge after Christmas, following the longest off-season they have ever had.

“After we got sent home from Lethbridge, I took a couple of weeks off and then got right back after it,” Cotton said, “so yeah, I’ve been training for a very long time.”

Wheatcroft says he’s doing all he can to be ready for the WHL season, which is slated to begin Jan. 8.

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“My main focus just to get some wins and get into shape for camp,” Wheatcroft said. “Keep going, keep battling, get into game shape and be ready for it when it comes.”

According to the Hurricanes, Lethbridge product Zack Stringer is also playing in the AJHL — for the Drayton Valley Thunder — while Joe Arntsen and Bryan Thomson are with the Melville Millionaires (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League) and Mitchell Prowse is with the Trail Smoke Eaters (B.C. Junior Hockey League).

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