The Moose Jaw Generals aren't leaving many stones unturned before they hold their annual spring camp this weekend.
© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Regan Nagy, left, tries to beat Dawson Davidson during the Moose Jaw Generals scrimmage Friday at Mosaic Place.
The Generals are bringing in 123 players from across the province to battle for a spot on next year's roster. As a point of comparison, most Sask. First provincial camps only feature 120 players.
"It's by far the biggest one we've ever had," said Generals head coach and general manager Ray Wareham. "I don't know what it was — we are going to have a decent turnover — but I don't know if kids were anticipating that we were going to have a big turnover because it's the Telus Cup year or what?"
The Generals are dividing the players into six teams and each team will be on the ice twice each day. Wareham and his staff are also hoping to sit down with the players one-on-one to get to know them off the ice as well. It will be a long, difficult weekend of evaluation.
"It's going to be new to us too. Usually I like to cut it off at 80 and even that gets to be a lot sometimes," said Wareham. "We're going to do the best we can and hopefully we can find some diamonds in the rough for next year."
It helps that Wareham has seen a lot of the Bantam AA and Midget AA players that are coming in previously.
None of the current members of the team will take part. Three of the Generals affiliates this past season — Regan Seiferling, Brett Reidy and Bhody Magnusson — are all signed and have all committed to the Generals next season. They may take part to fill in for injured players, but the 16-year-old local Midget AAs won't be full participants in the camp.
There will be some high-end 1999-born players looking to impress as they move into the Midget ranks next season.
Moose Jaw's Chantz Petruic scored 51 points in 31 games in Bantam AA and saw plenty of time with the Midget AAs as well.
Estevan's Brayden Pachal is a is a right-handed defenceman that Wareham said they really like. He also praised twins Tanner Manz and Tyson Manz from Southey. The pair played in Balgonie with the Prairie Storm this past season where they each had 47 points in 31 games. Tyson had 29 goals and Tanner had 15 goals.
"We've got some pretty good kids had some good Bantam years coming in. We have some good 98s who are coming in," said Wareham in reference to first-year midget players from this past season.
The team also drew a pair of talented 14-year-olds from Saskatoon. Erik Ehrmantraut is a six-one forward who scored a point a game with the Saskatoon Generals and Jaden Shewchuk had 53 points in 31 game with the Sasatoon Bandits.
"They both had good Bantam years," said Wareham.
Another interesting prospect is 13-year-old Cole Fonstad. While still a year removed from midget hockey, he was fourth in league scoring in the Sask. Bantam AA League with Estevan. Right behind him in the Bantam AA scoring lead was Matthew Kesslering from Weyburn who will also attend the Generals camp.
Estevan's Kyle Salaway, 16, was second in scoring in the South Sask. Midget AA League and will also attend this weekend's camp.
The Generals played their fourth intrasquad game as they continue to try to prepare for the Telus Cup. Donovan Neuls scored twice, while Branden Klatt, Rhett Gardner and Ben Duperreault scored in an uninspiring 5-3 contest. Jared Legien, Regan Nagy and Kaleb Bell scored for the losing side.
At the Telus Cup Western Regional in Prince Albert, the host Mintos booked their spot in the final with a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Wild Friday night. The Mintos will play either the Thunder Bay Kings or the Notre Dame Argos in the final Sunday afternoon.