The Yorkton Terrier's preparation for the upcoming Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) season began on the weekend with the team's annual fall try-out camp.
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan said the camp had just more than 60-players.
That gave him enough to ice three teams for sessions starting Friday with camp wrapping up with the black and orange intrasquad game Monday evening.
Having three full teams made game sessions both competitive, but also kept players fresh to better show what they might bring to the club.
The weekend was enough for Cassan and staff to cut down to about 40 players for the intrasquad game, and he said he expected about 10 additional cuts after the game setting the stage for the preseason which was scheduled to start Tuesday with the Terriers hosting Waywayseecappo of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
Thirteen veterans of last year's team attended the camp, with five other vets; Tayler Thompson, Kailum Gervias, Tyler Giebel, Dawson MacAuley and Tanner LeSann, attending Western Hockey League camps.
Cassan said overall the talent looked solid.
"Some guys you could see worked pretty hard over the summer," he said.
Among veterans, Cassan said he liked what he saw from some of his blueline leaders. He said Brady and Chase Norrish and Devon McMullen worked hard through the weekend.
"They're always bringing the intensity level," said the Terrier coach, adding that is showing leadership in the sense younger players see the work ethic.
One newcomer fans are interested in is Derek Falloon coming over from the MJHL in a trade with Swan River for goaltender Warren Shymko.
"Derek has showed he's got good speed," said Cassan. "He has an extra gear around the net."
With Shymko gone, and MacAuley at a WHL camp, Kale Thomson is the lone veteran goaltender.
"Kale's had a good camp. He worked pretty hard over the summer," said Cassan, noting last season when given a start he played well.
Through preseason Thomson will be given the chance to show he's ready to be the number one goaltender.
As for younger players looking to earn a spot on either the current edition of the Terriers, or in a future season, Cassan said many improved as they settled into camp. He said when a 15-year-old goes in against players 18, 19 and 20 "they get more comfortable after a couple of sessions."
As far as younger players catching their coach's eye, Cassan said several have stood out.
Forward Daylan Gatzke is a player on the Terrier list since he was 15. Cassan said the 18-year-old probably should have played some affiliated player games but playing with the Swift Current Legionnaires in the Saskatchewan AAA Midget Hockey League distance was an issue.
Cassan said Gatzke has "played physical," as a player with "good size"
Brady Anderson has turned heads too as a player who did not play AAA Midget hockey, but did play on the Saskatchewan Aboriginal team coached by former Terrier Dan McKay.
While showing skills such as good hands, Cassan said it is Anderson's desire that sticks out.
"He really wants it … You really see his determination.
On the blueline Caley Bjork from the Regina Pat Canadians AAA Midget team has shown he is a steady rearguard in the mold of former Terrier Kelly Leismeister, said Cassan.
Dallas Rossiter, a rearguard from Junior 'B' in British Columbia, is a player with size Cassan said could fit in with the team this season.
Cassan said while camp went well the final look of the Terriers is far from set.
"Things can change a bit," he said. "… There's a battle for all spots all the time."
But in general terms he does hope ultimately to build a team with certain attributes.
"You always want to be a team that can move the puck," he said, adding he hopes the team has the same ethic as last year. "… We had a team every night you knew was going to give their best effort."