(Courtesy of Rob Henderson, The Brandon Sun) -- A lot of things were going Tyrel Seaman’s way back in November.
Seaman was having a promising second season in the Western Hockey League, while his Brandon Wheat Kings were among the circuit’s top teams. The future was just as bright for the 17-year-old centre from Choiceland, Sask., who was quickly working his way up National Hockey League draft boards.
All that momentum came to a sudden halt on Nov. 25 when he suffered a concussion against the Moose Jaw Warriors, limiting him to only a single game since then.
"It was just disappointing," said Seaman, who returned for the Wheat Kings’ first game after the Christmas break, only to suffer symptoms again following a hard collision. "I want to be back playing now and contributing to the team, but I’ve just got to go through this process. I’ve got to take it slow this time, just to make sure everything is cleared up."
Seaman doesn’t know if he suffered a second concussion or had not fully recovered from the first, but said he "was feeling 100 per cent" and had been cleared when he returned in December. He’s skating on his own now and said he hasn’t had any symptoms lately. He’ll have to show he can handle more rigorous workouts, then graduate to non-contact practice and finally full practice before he’ll be able to return to the lineup.
"Tyrel is progressing," Wheat Kings owner/general manager Kelly McCrimmon said. "He’s working through the return-to-play protocol, but given the nature of his injury, it’s difficult to attach a timeline."
With six goals and 17 points in 28 games, Seaman was ranked 50th among North American skaters for this year’s draft by NHL Central Scouting in January despite his time away. Still, he can’t help but wish he was able to help his own cause.
"You just can’t show exactly what you’ve got to show for the scouts," he said. "You’re just sitting in the stands and they don’t get much of an impression of you doing that."
Seaman knows the best way to help his draft stock and his team are by waiting until he’s completely ready to return, and both he and McCrimmon feel they’re on the right track.
"I think we’ve got a real good handle on where we’re at," McCrimmon said. "The only variable is time."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 23, 2012