Regina, Saskatchewan – Eight Pats prospects look to make a strong first impression tomorrow night when they suit up for the Regina Pats Spring Development Camp’s first on-ice session at the Cooperators Centre (6 p.m.).
Those eight players of the nineteen who will be a part of this weekend’s camp includes the Pats’ 2013 Draft Class along with list forward Adam Berg (’97). Pats new Head Coach Malcolm Cameron is eager to work with the new prospects.
“Any time you get to see some players who are new to the organization it’s always exciting,” said Cameron. “It’s no different than when you acquire a guy in a trade; you’re excited to get him in the lineup and see what he can do. We’re pretty excited. Josh, Myself, Rob and Chad to see these young fellas get on the ice and wearing our colours.”
One of those young players is forward Luc Smith (’98), the Pats third round selection in the 2013 Draft. He’s looking forward to the chance to show the Pats coaches he belongs on the ice come Training Camp in the fall.
“(This weekend) is going to be a good experience for me,” commented the captain of the Spruce Grove PAC Saints. “I think it will help me with knowing what is expected of me and how hard it’s going to be to actually make the WHL. I want to show the coaching staff that I could go to main camp and not be out of place.”
Eleven of the players participating in camp this weekend will have the opportunity to compete for spots on the Pats roster when Training Camp rolls around. Cameron wants to see leadership from the Pats second year prospects.
“You’d like to see the returning players to this camp help along the first year guys coming into camp and help them a little bit with expectations and mentor them a little bit. Even though there’s only a difference in a year of age, they’ve been through it before. They’ve been to Regina now for both spring and rookie camp so they have some experience with the organization and our hope is we’ll see some leadership emerge.”
There’s a lot the first year prospects can take from this weekend, whether it be from coaches or fellow prospects and Smith wants to enjoy his first WHL practices.
“If I just use all the tools I have in my belt I’ll have success. I just have to make sure I get my head up and crash and bang a little bit, but also work hard, have fun and just learn from this experience.”