Needham's new look....
The cage comes off and the visor goes on as 15 year-old F Matt Needham was on the ice today. The 1st round bantam pick will play this weekend for the Blazers and any potential games after that.
Needham has already played 11 games this season collecting three goals and four assists.
Also at practice, the Blazers had newly signed 16 year-old F Dallas Calvin on the ice. At first glance, you see a big bodied 6'4 forward with some raw talent but a bit rough around the edges.
He'll get a good experience with the Blazers this week before some off-season training. I'd expect he can come into next season and have a good shot at making the hockey team.
Another new face at practice was 17 year-old G Cole Cheveldave. The Calgary native was the AJHL's Rookie of the Year, Goaltender of the Year and a runner-up for MVP in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Drumheller Dragons.
Cheveldave hasn't signed with the team but is in this week for a look around. I spoke with him briefly after practice. You can hear our chat prior to Friday's game as the Blazers host the Prince George Cougars.
What I got from our conversation is that he's leaning towards the Blazers for next season. He knows there could be a potential opportunity for him here.
At 5'10 he's a bit smaller in the crease but looks very agile and quick. He described himself as a "hybrid" goaltender.
The jump from Junior "A" to Major Junior is a significant one though. Often success in one league doesn't translate into the other.
It would be nice to see Cheveldave come to camp and compete for a spot next season.