(Login DenMod) Forum Owner Posted Aug 22, 2007 8:54 AM
Citizen Sports Editor
As the Prince George Cougars prepare to open training camp - registration is
24 hours away, skating sessions start Thursday - there is no disguising one
Jobs, particularly up front, are there for the taking.
With that in mind, general manager Dallas Thompson expects up to 90 players
to show up for what will be the largest gathering in many years at CN
"This is where we get to see how we did in the summer with recruiting, and
get to see the veterans at camp and see just how much work they put in over
the summer," said Thompson.
"Because of the graduations, we have some (veteran) guys who have to come in
and put up some numbers to justify their places on the team. Some players
will be pushed, and that's all part of training camp."
Import draft choices Patrik Magnusson, the six-foot-eight Swede taken 28th
overall, and 17-year-old Czech centre Jan Kupec arrived in the city Monday
evening. Both have all paperwork in place, Thompson said.
"We're looking forward to seeing them on the ice - we have a little bit of
knowledge about Magnusson, but Kupec is somewhat of an unknown," said
"We've heard some things about him and we'll see Thursday morning."
Three players of note spent time in doctor's offices over the summer. Winger
Jordie Deagle had his wrist mended by surgery, defence prospect Trevor Bauer
had similar work done on his wrist, and veteran centre Greg Gardner got good
news from an MRI that surgery was not required on his bad wrist. A summer of
rehabilitation should do the trick and all three are expected to be ready
Two other prospects won't be in camp because of injuries. Terrence Jorgensen
(seventh round 2005) will play midget as he recovers from shoulder surgery,
while winger Tyson Street, a 16-year-old from Colorado who has played minor
hockey in Kelowna, has his broken ankle in a cast. Street will play midget
hockey in Phoenix this winter.
There will be no-shows. Sixth-round 2005 choice Taylor Stefishen, who had a
strong season in the BCHL last winter with 25 goals in 59 games, seems set
on attracting an NCAA scholarship. List player Andrew Cherniwchan, who hails
from Hinton, has taken a scholarship at Northern Michigan.
As has been well-documented, key veterans have moved on since last season.
Devin Setoguchi, Vladimir Mihalik and Nick Drazenovic took their NHL pacts
and advanced to the pros, overagers Eric Hunter, Scott Bowles and Jared
Walker graduated, and rough-and-tumble winger Kyle Klym was released. Lance
Redden was lost to Edmonton in the expansion draft, and Chris Durand was
sent to Saskatoon for a draft choice.
There will be four overagers in camp - Gardner; goaltender Real Cyr, who is
a lock to be the starter; and defencemen Kalvin Sagert and Curtis Patterson,
the latter a distant longshot to make the team. For the first time in years,
the 20-year-old spots should sort out early and easily - unless, of course,
the St. Louis Blues do the unexpected and send Drazenovic back for a fifth
season in the WHL.
"We need to see as soon as we can where we are with our forwards, and the
interesting thing for me to see is what we have behind Real in goal," said
"He's a 20-year-old and we have to start developing the goalie who will take
his place. If we have the guy who can do that in training camp, great, but
if not then I'll have to start looking around.
"Our forwards are going to be young, no question about it, but I think we've
done some good work to bring guys in who we think have an opportunity to
crack the lineup and help out."
Registration and fitness testing starts at 3 p.m. Wednesday. On-ice sessions
get started Thursday morning, with veterans and rookies spread among four
training camp teams. Scrimmages start Thursday afternoon. For a full
schedule see Wednesday's Citizen.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Texan Colin Haas, 18, was in camp three years ago and was already measuring
six-foot and 167 pounds - he's now six-three and 190 pounds. After a year of
midget hockey near his hometown of Plano, the natural centre will be here to
check in on Wednesday and battle for one of the many open spots on the
Parker Stanfield, 17, from Los Angeles, is a right-winger who brings skill
to the ice. Stanfield was in training camp this summer with the Wichita
Falls Wildcats of the NAHL, the Junior A team operated by Cougars owner Rick
Brodsky. Stanfield played midget hockey for the Kings in Los Angeles last