Kimberley Dynamiters head coach and general manager Derek Stuart says there’s about two teams worth of players coming to their annual camp, which takes place this coming weekend: Sept. 10-12.
This isn’t the volume of players Nitros main camp usually get, but Stuart says that’s too be expected as there are still a lot of young players out at Junior A camps.
“We’re going to have two full teams and I’m expecting it to be a pretty high-tempo camp,” Stuart said. “We have quite a few guys back from last year that’ll be at camp, so that’s pretty rare as well. I’m excited to what this new kind of camp look is going to be.”
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Each group will have practise on Friday night, followed by games on the Saturday and Sunday.
“With only two teams, we’re looking at maybe doing a skills ice session instead of one of the games on Saturday morning,” Stuart explained. “But either way they’ll get four ice times, two games minimum.”
There are nine or ten returning Dynamiters players returning to camp this year, with another four that are still currently in Junior A camps. Whether they come back to the team or not still remains to be seen, but as they aren’t here now, Stuart says they will go with the group they have coming out of main camps for the start of the exhibition on Monday.
“What we’ll do this year again being that it’ll be a little bit different, we usually have one week between camp and the start of the regular season, this year we have two weeks of exhibition,” Stuart explained.
“So we’re going to cut down to an exhibition roster for Monday and then go with that roster until the end of the exhibition season on September 26 and then make some cut downs to our final regular season opening night roster on the 27.”
The team is looking too add smart hockey players to the roster, according to Stuart, players who “don’t need to be taught things they already know.”
“Obviously skating and the work ethic and things like that come into play as well, but I initially look to see which guys are smart and which guys listen to direction in the practise and little things like that,” Stuart said.
The team has also just recently signed on two more players to the roster, 2003-born Forward Conner Furukawa from Lethbridge, Alta. and 2002-born Forward Jayden Kostiuk from Coaldale, Alta.
“Both are big strong guys, they’re from southern Alberta and they’re strong, they’re not afraid of any physicality or rough going and they both have offensive abilities as well,” Stuart said. “Jayden was the captain of his midget team two years ago when they got shut down and Connor is a very skilled forward that likes to mix it up as well.”