The staff of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Yorkton Terriers spent the weekend evaluating young talent.
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan explained the camp focused on players 15-to-17 years old, so some among the 80-plus at camp could factor into the club’s plans for next season, while for other players it was more a case of tracking their development for future seasons.
Cassan said many of the participants were players already on the team’s 50-man protected roster.
While they talk to players over the season, and track their stats, the camp “is that personal contact.
It’s a way to see how they’ve progressed over the year.”
For the players, the camp is one where players are competing to get the coach’s attention for possible roster spots in the fall, and to stay on the player list.
Cassan said “some kids drew attention to themselves,” who were not on the list, meaning the Terrier staff will be making decisions on whether to alter the 50-man list following the camp. In terms of next season, Cassan said there were some players who made a case for a closer look in the fall, starting with some players who had some game time with the Terriers this past season as affiliated players (APs).
Tanner Lishchynsky, a defenceman, with the AAA Midget Saskatoon Blazers is one player Cassan said had a very strong camp.
“He’s shown he’s ready to play,” he said.
Tanner LeSann played some games with the Terriers season and will be fighting for a regular roster spot in the fall, said Cassan. LeSann was a member of AAA Midget Yorkton Harvest this past season.
If bloodlines account for anything in hockey, the Terriers could be in for some solid future players coming out of the camp.
Dylan Johnson, the bigger, younger brother of current Terrier Jeremy Johnson, earned some notice, said Cassan, adding while big, he can skate, and has the added flexibility of playing both forward and defence. Dylan has only played local hockey, so needs some refining, but will get a hard look come fall, said the Terrier coach.
Dalton Menke, the 17-year-old brother of former Terriers Justin and Jordan Menke also looked solid, said Cassan.
John Odgers little brother Dakota, a member of the also a Harvest player is another prospect with AP experience Cassan said he was watching.
Adam Neibrandt, 15, is a prospect a year, or too away, and is the younger brother of former Terrier John Neibrandt, now in the Western Hockey League.
Overall, Cassan said the camp was a good one.
“We didn’t have one last year,” he said, adding they were involved in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League final and could not get the camp organize.
“A lot goes into planning it and putting it on,” he said. “But to have that contacts and sort of sell your program is important.”