Skip to content

No lack of leadership coming into camp

Roster spots will be hard to come by when the Estevan Bruins open their training camp on Friday.

Roster spots will be hard to come by when the Estevan Bruins open their training camp on Friday. When you add the players acquired as the future considerations in past trades along with moves made over the summer to the list of returning players, the club has 23 junior A veterans coming into camp.But with over 80 young men invited to try out, there will be some heated battles, and roster spots are anything but secure."It's great that you're a vet or it's great that you signed a card but that's why we have camp," said Bruins' coach Karry Biette.One of the things Biette and his staff tried to address over the off-season was having less player movement in the early months of the season so the team can gel right off the bat. He says there was way too much movement last season between September and October so it was tough to build a cohesive unit."Now we've taken the steps to make sure we've got enough guys coming into camp which makes for some tip-toeing and tap dancing because there will be lots of kids here that can make the team, "he said.Throughout the off-season it was announced that the Bruins had acquired the likes of forward Ward Szucki from the Battlefords North Stars, as well as forward Ben Findlay and goaltender Joel Danyluk from the La Ronge Ice Wolves. In reality those players were part of trades that took place back during the season."All those deals were done in January," says Biette. "We moved some of our 20-year-old players on and it made for a long end of the year because people didn't know what we accomplished in those trades. Since they were future deals, we had to stay tight-lipped about them but now guys like Danyluk, Szucki and Findlay are coming to light and we're reaping the benefits."When you have as many veteran players attending camp as the Bruins do, it goes without saying that there will be an abundance of leadership in the dressing room which is a luxury they have not had in recent years.Biette says they have about eight veteran players attending camp that could wear a letter and he expects that the cream will rise to the top in the coming weeks.Depth at every position is another benefit of having so many veterans coming into camp."We've got 10-12 quality defenceman coming in to tryout for initially eight spots and in excess of 25 forwards coming in to tryout for 15 spots," Biette said. "We need a little bit of depth in goal; we've got a '90 starter in Danyluk, and we've got a '91 in (Alex) Sirard and a '92 in (Derek) Tendler who are at WHL camps right now so we have three or four guys coming into camp to battle for the back-up spot."Danyluk will given the majority of the workload between the pipes as he is expected to be the go-to guy after leading La Ronge to the league final and the RBC Cup last season.With so many quality players attending camp this year, Biette said he understands there will be some pretty lofty expectations."Sky high, there's no question; I've been in this position a little more than five years and on-ice success has eluded us as far as playoff wins go," he says. "We finished first in the south division a few years ago but the on-ice success is the main focus this year."Training camp opens on Friday afternoon with physical testing and then wraps up on Sunday evening at 6 o'clock with the traditional Black vs. Gold inter-squad game.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks