Is it too early for this? Maybe. But for those die-hard Bronco fans looking to get excited about the upcoming season here's a little preview of Broncos Training Camp and some of the prospects to watch.
Thanks to Broncos Director of Player Personnell Jamie Porter for providing input on players coming in competing for spots.
For Bronco fans taking in some training camp sessions in the coming weeks here's an unofficial guide.
1993's - 15 year-olds
- D Reece Scarlett - The Broncos 1st round pick (12th overall) from this summer's WHL bantam draft. Considered a well-rounded player. Was a big part of Sherwood Park's Western Canadian "AAA" bantam title.
“We think Reece is a solid two-way defenseman. He’s the type of a guy that we see on the power play, while also having the ability to match up against the opposition’s top line” - Jamie Porter
- D Clayton Chingee - 2008 9th round bantam pick out of Prince George. Can play both forward and defense.
"Ultra competitive kid, physical and with a cannon of a shot." - Porter
- G Austin Smith - Broncos 2nd round choice in this summer bantam draft (34th overall). The Calgary goaltender is coming off a good season between the pipes.
"Typically it takes goaltenders longer to develop but we think he can be our goaltender of the future." - Porter
F - Josh Derko - 5th round '08 bantam pick. Another part of Sherwood Park's "AAA" bantam Western Canadian Championship.
D - Graeme Craig - 3rd round '08 bantam pick. Big bodied defenseman at 6'2 195 lbs. Red Deer product is the younger brother to Broncos prospect Rodger Graig.
"Has some grease in his game, he's not afraid to jump-up into the play." - Porter
F - Preston Amundon - 7th round '08 bantam pick. Speedy, smaller player from Edmonton.
"Fits the Broncos mold of our speed kills mentality" - Porter
F/D- Mike Lazo - 8th round '08 bantam pick. Out of Winnipeg, younger brother of Tri-City Americans Johnny Lazo. 5'6 skilled player who has played both forward and defense.
" A skilled player that moves real well. He's excited to be the first of his three brothers to get drafted into the WHL. There's no doubt a place for the smaller, skilled player in WHL again." - Porter
D -Nathan Zimbaluk - 6th round '08 bantam pick. 6'1, 175lbs
"defenseman out of Regina... good size and moves well" - Porter
F -Nicco Digiovannantonio - 6th round '08 bantam pick. A hockey broadcaster's nightmare with an eight syllable last name, the character kid captained his Clavet, SK bantam team last season. His family recently moved to Manitoba. Smaller player listed at 5'7, 145lbs.
F - Adam Lowry - 4th round 08' bantam pick. The son of former Calgary Flames and now current Calgary Hitmen Head Coach Dave Lowry.
"Character kid, solid two-way player, potential leader, understands the game well, does all the little things coaches really appreciate." - Porter
1992's - 16 year-olds
There's a real solid group of 16 year-olds coming into this year's camp. Since Dean Chynoweth took over as Broncos Head Coach / GM, the Broncos have traditionally kept at least two on the roster for the season. There's a good chance they will do the same this year.
Here's a rundown of what to watch for.
F- Christian Magnus - Broncos 1st round bantam pick in '07. Had a strong training camp and pre-season tournament in Edmonton last season. He played with the Broncos in the max five games allowed as a 15 year-old last season.
"Depending on how the 17 year-olds at camp perform, his roster spot may be out of his control. We will do whatever is best for his development. Either making the jump to the WHL or another year of "AAA" Midget." - Porter
F- Catlin Foley - Acquired from Prince George in the Jesse Dudas deal, Foley played in Notre Dame last season and is originally from Coronach, SK.
"Solid energy guy with good size (6'1 195lbs). Solidly built player." - Porter
F/D - Patrick Coady - 7th round '07 bantam pick. Played in the Midget 15 league in Airdrie last season. Had to play defense because a rash of injuries on his team.
"We think he's tough and has some good size (6'2, 185)" - Porter
F- Andrew Sullivan - 7th round '07 bantam pick. Played "AAA" Midget in Calgary and put up some good numbers, Won the bantam league scoring race in Calgary two years ago.
"Has some very good skills... he's a top end scorer" - Porter
F - Madison Diaz - Listed player. Has plans to play junior "A" in Victoria of the BCHL this year as they are hosting the RBC Cup.
"We like his play... plays with reckless abandon." - Porter
F - Michael Hay - 4th round '07 bantam pick. Played with the Winnipeg "AAA" Thrashers who went all the way to the "AAA" Telus Cup final last season. Had a good Broncos camp last season that saw him make it to the Intersquad game.
"He's a quick, skilled guy and had a great experience with the Winnipeg Thrashers last season. He scores big goals." - Porter
D- Taylor Ernst - 2nd round '07 bantam pick. Played three games with the Broncos last season as a 15 year-old. Played the year with the Regina Pat Canadiens "AAA" midget. Broncos project him to be an offensive defenseman.
"We would like to see him come in and compete for a roster spot this season." - Porter
D - Allistair Chapman - 5th round '07 bantam pick. Played "AAA" midget in Calgary last season. He was one of several players who were hurt at last year's training camp.
"He's another who we would like to see come in and compete for a spot. He has decent puck skills, some grit and plays with a chip on his shoulder." - Porter
D- Jordan Evans - Listed player from training camp last season. Played "AAA" with the UFA Bisons last season.
"He's put himself into a position to compete for a spot. Good skater, calm and poised." - Porter
D- Brody Luhning - 8th round '07 bantam pick. Played this last season in Balgonie.
"He's a smaller solid defensman but has grown a little. Needs to work on his strength. He's good in hiw own zone and isn't afraid to jump up into the play." - Porter
D - Jonathan Lashyn - Listed player. Played last season with the Saskatoon Contacts "AAA".
"All around has some tools, great character guy, has some leadership attributes" - Porter
D- Zach Habscheid - 9th round '07 bantam pick. Big defenseman. Son of Marc Habscheid. Played with the "AAA" Legionnaires last season. Practiced several times with the Broncos last season.
" Game is making some strides, we think he could bring an element of toughness." - Porter
G- Reid Peters - Listed player. Out of Morden Manitoba.
"was a good little goaltender when we first saw him, now he's grown to 6'3. We will have to see where he's at come training camp. - Porter
1991's - 17 year olds
F- Taylor Vause - 6th round '06 bantam pick, Finished off the season with the Broncos and even saw action in the playoffs. Smart and speedy forward out of Calgary who has an inside track on landing a full time spot this season. Check out his youtube highlight reel here. Dynamic, offensive player.
F- Dillon Wagner - 6th round '06 bantam pick. Finished last year with Drayton Valley of the AJHL. Already signed with the Broncos. Can play in all situations, good penalty killer.
"Very solidly built two way player with some offensive skills and good hockey sense." - Porter
F- Rodger Craig - 4th round '06 bantam pick. 6'4 215 out of Red Deer and skates at a high level.
"Great skater, has some skill. Hasn't figured out what type of player hs is yet." - Porter
F- Blayze Bruyer - Listed player out of Edmonton. 6'4 195. Has battled some injury problems.
"Good skater for a guy his size. Needs to get a bit more aggressive." - Porter
F - Jordan Peddle - Listed player from the local "AAA" Legionnaires. One of the top Sask "AAA" players last season. Suffered a broken wrist in his very first SJHL game with the Notre Dame Hounds which all but ended his season.
"Plays with tons of energy. Pretty skilled player who was the best player on the Legionnaires last season." - Porter
F - Oliver Jokel - Broncos 1st round Import pick from Slovakia. Broncos this he's a potentially explosive skater that works hard. The Broncos will get their first look at Jokel at training camp.
D - James Martin - 2nd round '06 bantam pick who played last season with the "AAA" Winnipeg Wild. Has played three games with the Broncos over the last three years on a call-up basis.
"We think he's ready to take the next step. We will see how he performs at camp" - Porter
D- David Greyeyes - 5th round '06 bantam pick. Played last season with Beardy's of the Sask "AAA" midget league. Has seen action in eight Bronco games over the last two seasons. The general consensus is that fitness has always been an issue that has held him back.
"He's having a good summer of training. We think he has some offensive to him with a good shot. He will get a long look this season." - Porter
G- Chad Ketting - Listed out of training camp last season. Played "AAA" with the Vancouver NW Giants. Smaller bodied, athletic goaltender. Impressive at camp last season
Other 1991's include forwards Brad Hoban, Cody Eakin and defenseman Joel Rogers who were on the Broncos roster all of last season.
Bronco fans will all be familiar with the trio. A broken leg while playing roller hockey this summer could keep Hoban out of action until October.
Cody Eakin is set to attend Canada's U-18 camp in Calgary with hopes of landing a spot on the National U-18 team.
JoelRogers will see an increased role with the team this season with the departure of Michael Wilson and Bretton Stamler and potentially Jesse Dudas and/or Spencer McAvoy depending on the 20 year-old situation.
Next week I'll take a closer look at the returning 18, 19 and 20 year-olds.
Enjoy the long weekend!