Loads of talent was on display at the 2014 Harvest Spring Camp at the Farrell Agencies Arena in Yorkton this past weekend.
Over 110 Harvest hopefuls filled the rink for the three day spring camp this past weekend in the hopes of impressing Dan Cross and his coaching staff enough to be invited back to the fall camp and a chance at cracking the 2014/15 Yorkton roster.
All players first had to register for the camp on Friday afternoon and, once registered, each player was assigned to one of the six camp teams.
Then each team, two at a time, time went through over an hour of rigorous on ice drills in the practice portion of the camp to test their abilities and give the Harvest coaches, as well as their camp coaches, a good look at the skill level of each player.
The six teams of 20 players each wrapped up the spring camp playing a three game mini-tournament with each team playing two round-robin games on Saturday and one playoff game on Sunday. Each player then had a closed door meeting with the coaching staff after their final game in regards to their performances over the weekend.
And while the idea of the camp was to allow the Harvest coaches to whittle down their prospects before fall camp in order to make it easier for themselves, head coach Cross felt that, due to the skill level of the players in camp, it actually made things more difficult. “The talent level was extremely high, especially the 99 group that was there,” said Cross. “The guys there made things really difficult to sort through and as a result I thought it was a very good camp and we’re really excited about some of the talent and some of the guys that will be invited back to the fall camp this year.”
But while nearly all of the 120 hockey players at spring camp showed promise, the truth is they are, essentially, competing for just six open spots on the Harvest.” We’ve got six spots open for sure and depending on what else goes on we could have a couple more spots open up,” offered the Harvest bench boss. “I think most of those kids that were at the camp will be where those players that are leaving us will be replaced from.”
Cross also mentioned while Carter Phair took part in the spring camp, his spot on next year’s team is nearly a lock. However, there is still one goalie position available. “We expect Carter Phair to come back and be our starting goalie and if he can stay healthy he’ll carry most of the load for us,” mentioned Cross. “But there is still one goalie spot open for whoever wants it bad enough.”
And although there are forward positions and a goaltending position open, Cross did mention that the blueline is nearly set with returning players such as Logan Leslie, Boedy Donald, Logan Karakochuk and Adam Neibrandt, as well as commitments two local players, Carson Sass (Melville) and Tyler Stratechuk (Yorkton). However, Cross wanted to stress that nothing is set in stone and that they might even carry seven defencemen for the upcoming season, depending on what kind of talent shows up at the fall camp.