The Kimberley Dynamiters are set to open training camp Friday night at the Kimberley Civic Centre and president Chad Koran is looking for nothing less than the best.
“We’re looking forward to our returning players coming in and shining, obviously,” Koran said Wednesday afternoon, “and we’re looking for the young guys coming in…to turn some heads and get some attention.”
With 45 players coming to camp, there will be plenty of competition in Kimberley this weekend.
Tyson Brouwer is the only holdover between the pipes as Jeremy Mousseau heads off to the college ranks.
Up front, leading scorer Jared Marchi returns to help fuel the offence. The 19-year-old Kimberley native led the Nitros with 25 goals and 57 points in 43 games last season.
Jason Richter, following a tryout with the Drumheller Dragons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, is also expected to return. The Cranbrook-born forward tallied 23 goals and 46 points in 47 games for the Nitros during the 2013-14 season. As an 18-year-old, he will look to chase down Marchi for the team scoring crown in 2014-15.
“We want to have them set the bar fairly high so these other guys coming in can see, ‘Holy Dina, we’ve got some competition here to make this team,’” Koran said. “We definitely want them to be at their best.”
Tyson Klingspohn finished third in Nitros scoring in 2013-14 and also returns to the club. The 17-year-old posted 15 goals and 33 points in 52 games with the Dynamiters last season.
In addition to the regular returners, Dynamiter brass is excited for a new crop of local talent, including the VanSteinburg brothers, Matt Barzilay and Jesse Wallace .
Tyler VanSteinburg is a 16-year-old defenceman that could potentially help fill the void created when veteran blueliner Andrew Miller requested a trade closer to home. The 20-year-old Miller was dealt to the Beaver Valley Nitehawks for future considerations last week.
Trevor VanSteinburg is a 17-year-old forward who already has a smattering of KIJHL experience in his back pocket. The Cranbrook native suited up in seven games for the Nelson Leafs last season in addition to spending most of the season with the Kootenay Ice of the B.C. Major Midget League.
Matt Barzilay is another 17-year-old forward expected to bolster the ranks and the Nitros already know what they’re getting with the Cranbrook native. Barzilay dressed in four games for Kimberley during the 2012-13 KIJHL season, posting one goal and three points in the process.
Last week after the trade of Miller, Nitros GM Dave Smith said they like to keep their squad young and with another 17-year-old local forward stepping on to the ice, there is no arguing that statement.
Jesse Wallace, a Kimberley native, is expected to make the full-time jump to the Dynamiters in 2014-15 after getting into four games with the club since 2012.
“We want 100 per cent out of each of these guys. It goes a long way,” Koran said. “You don’t want any bad apples in the dressing room.
“We want 100 per cent out of each one of our guys and an honest effort. They need to come here believing they have a chance to earn a spot on the team. And they could very well do so. [There are spots] up for grabs.”
Dynamiters camp opens Friday with the first practice slated for 6 p.m.
Sessions continue with games running from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. through 1:15 p.m. Sunday.
All sessions are open to the public.