This week's Strathmore Motor Products King of the Week Highlights Chestermere's Joel Romano.

On a young Wheatland Kings team with many rookies, second year player Joel Romano finds himself being one of the veterans of the team, despite only being a year removed from being a rookie himself! Well into his second season, Romano feels the extra experience has helped out a lot.

"I think it's been better this year, I feel like I've got more games under my belt just to have some experience in the league. So I kind of know what to expect when I get out there. I feel like guys are smaller this year coming in the league, so just being physical against other guys like that, I feel like that's a big aspect of my game."

The Kings currently find themselves in a 7 game losing streak, but Romano has confidence they'll figure it out and get back in the win column.

"I think that just getting pucks in deep off the start of the game, I feel like we've had a couple of rough starts here from the first period and stuff like that. I feel like once we get pucks in deep and we're constantly, relentlessly on the forecheck, I feel like we'll be in good shape to get through these next few weeks." 

While the losing streak is tough, there are still plenty of good moments to be found. For Romano, one of the highlights of the year so far is actually off the ice.

"Just this past Sunday we did a little team bonding experience where we did paper clip trading. So we got to go around Strathmore and go around the community and talk to sponsors of our team and try and trade them items and stuff like that.  It was a good time to bond with a group of four teammates, so I feel like that's probably my highlight so far."

Romano explained that the paper clip trading has been trending on TikTok, and it's a game where you start with a paper clip and try to trade for progressively bigger items. So far, the team has had some huge successes, as Romano said they've been able to work their way up to a couch and dart board to add to their team room. 

Romano is from Chestermere, and he really enjoys playing so close to home.

"It's pretty great to have a lot of close family and friends there to watch my games. So that's pretty nice, every game you go out there and talk to them after and stuff. So I feel like having people in the crowd makes you want to just play that much harder."

When he's not busy playing hockey, Romano said he's busy in the gym working out and attending Mount Royal University. He's in his third year of his Bachelor of Science, and he hopes to go into chiropractic therapy after he is finished his degree.

The Wheatland Kings are on home ice on Saturday at 8 pm taking on the Three Hills Thrashers and Sunday at 4:30 when the Medicine Hat Cubs come to town fans can cheer Romano and the team on as they look to defend home ice.

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