There were plenty of fresh, enthusiastic faces to start the weekend off at the Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals Spring Camp.
By Sunday, those faces looked tired but determined to leave a lasting impression on head coach Jason Johns and assistant coach Rob Gaudreault, giving them a few things to think over between now and the start of main camp later this year.
“There’s a lot of young, hungry players out here that have been really working hard over the weekend,” Gaudreault said.
“It’s nice to see that these kids want to show what they can do and even though a few of them are still a year or two from being able to play in this league, it’s really positive to see.”
There were games going every day, one after another, leading to the finale on Sunday with two showcase games. The first game featured the rookie prospects, with players aged 15-17. The second game featured the top prospects, with players ranging from 15-20 years old.
“We had a great group of kids at this camp and a lot of parents mentioned to me that they hadn’t been a part of a camp like this before, so that was nice to hear,” Johns said.
“We were trying to put on a camp that was similar to what the Junior A teams put on and I think that we managed to have something along those lines here.”
There were a group of players from last season on hand at the camp, including Liam Peel, Chase Gaudreault, Wyatt Meiers, Carlos Grouchy and Chandler Bruckyere. There were also some familiar affiliate players on the ice as well, with Jarrett Weme, Josh Harvey and Mathieu Jallabert on hand.
Keeping to their word of wanting players that fans can get to know from this area, there were 11 other players at the Gens camp, bringing their hometown total to 14.
“We’re wanting to make sure that we get Oceanside Minor Hockey players coming up through the systems and working with them,” Johns said.
“The more local talent that we can work with and help develop, the better. It will push everyone who plays here locally to want to strive to be a part of this team and lets our fans relate to them that much more.”
With the amount of fresh faces at spring camp, there’s a good chance that the Generals will have a lot of new faces in their lineup on opening night later this year.
“Obviously there will be players getting shots with Junior A teams and we’ll be losing guys who weren’t from the area that are going back home to play where they’re from,” Johns said.
“It’s exciting to have this many locals out here though and we’re looking forward to putting together a group of players that want to play hard for this team.”