A few things today...
The Broncos held an orientation for their recent crop of bantam draft picks (94's) and some recently listed players yesterday.
The orientation concluded with an hour long on-ice practice session. I was quite impressed with the group's speed and skating. It's been the Broncos identity the past number of seasons and this group fits the bill to a tee.
1st round pick F Evan Richardson was on the ice and looked as advertised. Although he has some growing to do the next couple seasons, my first impression is that he looked a lot like Cody Eakin at 15. That could be a lofty comparison but comparing both at 15 they have several similarities.
2nd round pick F Shea Howorko also looks to be a player with a strong future. I think he has potential to develop into a premiere power forward in the WHL.
It was an impressive group.
No on-ice today. Registration is this evening and on-ice sessions begin tomorrow at the Credit Union i-plex.
As blogged earlier this week, I had a chance to speak with Broncos Head Coach / General Manager Mark Lamb as he prepares for his first training camp.
On evaluating his players for the first time.......
"I'm going to go in with an open attitude. Some of the players (over time) get a little baggage... baggage from scouts and personnel. For me I'm coming in and that's going to all get cleaned up. It's going to be a great opportunity for everybody."
On the returning veterans and their role in camp....
"We want the young guys to push them but the veterans have a spot, it's theirs to lose. I'm really going to watch (the veterans) to see how they're interacting with the young guys and bringing them along and not pushing them aside. If you get a veteran who's pushing the young players aside because they're worried about their job I don't think they're the type of guys I want on my team."
On what type of effort he's looking for....
"I want it to be an open training camp where everyone has a shot. They have to show the organization that. If they come and work hard and are very professional and they really want to make the team, that's all a coach or an organization can ask for. I'm hopeful they do that."
On making any potential roster moves....
"The advice that I'm going by, and it's advice I've given myself, is to be very patient; get into training camp, and see what you've got. (I want to) get the scouts together and staff, and work as a group.
One other General Manager told me the other day, he says, if you're going to make a trade right now, keep in mind that General Manager knows his players very well, and he probably knows yours better than you do."
Courtesy our affiliate 800 CHAB in Moose Jaw, the Warriors camp opens today. They spoke with Warriors Head Coach Dave Hunchak on his mindset entering camp after a dismal season last year in which they finished last overall.
"It's a year in which we need to rebound back. Our intensity level is going to be at the highest it's been in quite some time," commented Hunchak.
I see a lot of battles shaping up on all fronts. With the season we had last year obviously we look to improve on it. It's been an awfully long off-season and I expect this to be one of the more competitive camps in Warriors history. Every job is at stake."