Terriers host annual spring hockey camp

Hockey season is just wrapping up for most leagues – the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League included. But last weekend, the Yorkton Terriers held their annual spring camp to get a sense of what their team would look like next year.
Approximately 60 kids hit the ice over the weekend at the Farrell Agencies Arena, all trying to impress the Terrier coaching staff.
Head coach/GM Casey O’Brien said he was very impressed with what he saw.
“All of our staff here is very happy. Guys came in and they’re in good shape, they’re showing us that they want to play for this organization,” said O’Brien.
This was O’Brien’s first year as head coach of the camp. He said he made small changes to the format compared to what it’s been like in the past.
He invited several of his veteran players to camp, including Jared Legien, Shane Sherban, Cole Keenleyside, Kaleb Bell, Matthew Perkins, Cody Dubas and graduated player Jordan Ross.
“It was kind of like a main camp inner squad game, with all the vets playing with all the younger guys we’re looking at for next season,” added O’Brien.
Coaches also ran a number of practices and drills throughout the weekend.
So, what exactly does a coach look for during a spring camp?
“Work ethic, body language, good skill set, guys who can really skate, guys who can think on the fly,” offered O’Brien. He said some of the drills that they did throughout the camp were to see all of this and more.
“One thing for me - I’ve always believed in having a fast skating team, so I want guys to think fast and play fast. If we’re going to be a big, slow team, we’ve got to be able to think fast and move the puck fast.”
The coaches were familiar with most of the kids who attended the camp, but O’Brien said they still saw some surprises on the ice.
“There were a couple of guys who played better than we’ve seen out of them in previous years or how they normally do,” he said.
“But the guys who we expected to be good this weekend were good. The guys that we knew were in the mix [for the team] certainly did that as well.”
Once the weekend wrapped up, the coaches were faced with decisions to make for their fall camp. O’Brien said they’d be committing to a few players this week, while some others would be invited back in the fall for the main camp.
Younger players who attended the spring camp are available for the upcoming bantam draft. Staff had the opportunity to see what those players had to offer and see if they were interested in signing them to the team in the future. They also had the chance to interview them after the camp, to see if they’d be interested in being part of the Terriers organization in the future.
The Terriers main camp will take place in August, which is when the coaching staff will start dwindling down the numbers and shaping their team for the 2017-2018 season of the SJHL. 

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