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StarPhoenix article (Blades welcome prospects to spring camp)

May 25 2012 at 7:29 AM
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N. W. Bruin  (Login NW_Bruin_GM)

Response to Edmonton Journal article (It's now or never for Oil Kings)

Blades welcome prospects to spring camp

By Daniel Nugent-Bowman, The StarPhoenix

May 24, 2012

The Saskatoon Blades are rolling out the welcome mat for their prospects at this weekend's spring camp.

"It's a weekend where they get to come in and, when they come back in August (for the main camp), they're a lot more comfortable," Blades assistant general manager Jarrod Brodsky said.

"They've met everyone and they're not as nervous as they would be if we didn't have the spring camp."

Potential rookies that were drafted or listed by the Blades in 2010, 2011 and 2012 are invited to the Blades' seventh annual orientation.

The camp begins Friday with a meet-and-great session and continues Saturday morning with a tour of Marion Graham Collegiate led by Blades education adviser Kim Hebert.

"The real emphasis on the weekend is to get them introduced to the city, the organization and the school," Brodsky said.

Although the camp is noncompetitive in nature, the players have been separated into teams for two on-ice sessions. They will also be asked to undergo a fitness test consisting of such exercises as the bench press, pullups and running on a treadmill.

The camp roster is expected to consist of 17 forwards, five defencemen and three goaltenders. Included in those numbers are nine of the Blades' 2012 WHL bantam picks, who will be put through the paces by the team for the first time.

"The big thing with the young guys is when they go through the fitness testing, their eyes are a little bit opened up," Brodsky said. "They realize how much it's going to take to play at our level.

"A lot of them are just introduced to this testing. When they come back in August, we expect to see improvements in the main camp from the spring camp."

The rookies will be introduced to some of the team's veterans as captain Duncan Siemens, assistant captain Brent Benson, recent acquisition Brenden Walker and impending overager Chris Collins will all be on hand. Veterans are only permitting to take part in physical testing activities, however.

The on-ice workouts are open to the public. They are scheduled from 10: 30 a.m. to noon Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m. Sunday at Schroh Arena.

BLADE BITS: 2011 draft picks Ryan Graham, Evan Polei and Clayton Kirchenko won't be in town this weekend because of prior commitments. The three players are scheduled to attend Team Alberta's under-17 selection camp in Leduc, Alta. Graham, drafted in the fifth round last year, scored one goal in five games for the Blades in 2011-12.

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