YORKTON - Yorkton Terrier head coach and general manager is a happy man following the team’s spring camp this weekend.
“I thought it was the most competitive spring camp since I’ve been here,” he told Yorkton This Week Monday.
The Terriers are coming off a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season where wins were hard come by – they went 19-36-01 third worst in the league – and they missed the playoffs.
Camp attendees seemed to recognize a team that missed the playoffs might have spots to fill and played hard through every scrimmage, said Hehr.
“Guys were taking off and running with it (the opportunity),” he said, adding a few players definitely raised their profile over the weekend.
“Overall I was really happy with camp.”
Hehr also looks forward to next season with a greater degree of confidence than he did a year ago at this time.
“Last year at this time we knew we were going to be pretty young,” he said, adding at time that youth showed over the course of the season, in particular in the area of physicality with young Terriers often over matched by 20-year-old opponents.
Getting bigger, and feistier was a goal for the upcoming season, and Hehr said he sees that rounding into place.
“This year we’re returning practically the entire team,” he said, adding the players will be a year older, stronger and SJHL experienced so the foundation is there.
“I’m really expecting we’ll have a very good team next year,” he said.
While reiterating, “I’m pretty confident in what we have,” Hehr did add he’d like to add a veteran, top-six forward to the roster over the summer. He suggested a 19, or 20-year-old with a year, or two of SJ experience would be a nice fit in terms of providing not just leadership, but depth.
Hehr said depth is a huge factor, suggesting the recently crowned SJHL champion North Battleford North Stars “had five lines and all of them could play and score.” When playing the Stars the Terrier coach said they could match up at the top end, but not in terms of depth.
This year, Hehr hopes the Terriers have that much-needed depth too.