SUMMERSIDE – There is very little room for error for players hoping to crack the Summerside Western Capitals’ roster for the 2014-15 MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) season.
A total of 47 players began training camp at Eastlink Arena on Monday.
“I like what I see so far,” said Caps general manager Pat McIver between Tuesday morning’s on-ice sessions. “There is going to be a ton of skill, we are going to be an exciting team to watch.
“We are going to be fast and we are going to have some tough decisions to make, which is good. We are looking forward to getting into some games and see what some of the guys got.”
The Caps will play Red-White intra-squad games on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the start time both days at 7 p.m.
“They will be actual games, three 20-minute periods,” said McIver. “Hopefully, we will get a good indication on some of the guys.”
The Caps will face the Pictou County Weeks Crushers in a home-and-home exhibition series this weekend. The teams will meet at Eastlink Arena on Saturday and in New Glasgow, N.S., on Sunday. Both games are 3 p.m. starts.
McIver would like to have the camp roster reduced to 30 following Wednesday’s intra-squad game.
“It’s going to be tough,” admitted McIver. “We are going to have to release 17 guys if we want to be down to that number.
“The guys are going to have to show us what they got the next two days.”
The Caps have a lot of familiar faces in camp at the forward positions, including returnees Alex Bradley, Brad Power, Max Pitre, Curtis MacGregor, Thomas Stavert, Blaize Bridges, Isaac Jay, Brock Richard and team captain Jordan Buchanan.
As of Tuesday, Joey Colatarci was the only returning defenceman in camp, but McIver noted Cavan Fitzgerald, draft pick Sebastien Cormier and recently-acquired Bailey Webster, who are all property of the Caps, are still at major junior camps.
Defenceman Brett Doiron hasn’t reported to camp, and has asked for a trade to the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
“We kind of knew that was a possibility,” said McIver.
The Caps also hoped to sign forward Craig MacLauchlan, who was released by the Charlottetown Islanders of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last week and played with the Caps two years ago, but he has committed to the UPEI Panthers.
“That was a disappointment for us, and we’ll move on,” said McIver.
The Caps have five goaltenders in camp, including returning sophomore Alex Kelly and Brodie Barrick, who played the last two seasons with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League.
Western Capitals’ training camp rosters:
Goal – Brodie Barrick and Koby Bridges.
Defence – Daylan Lipanovich, Dawson Grenier, Spencer Ross, Matthew Morgan, Evan Millman and Dane Moore.
Forwards – Alex Bradley, Nathan Yetman, Brad Power, Max Pitre, Mason Krueger, Ryan Caswell, Spencer Sherren, Riley Gallant, Campbell Gallant, Austin Woodard-Taylor, Dylan Wheatley, Alex Hambly, Curtis MacGregor and Max Morrison.
Goal – Alex Kelly, Bradley Shea and Jaxon Lamont.
Defence – Joey Colatarci, Mitchell Robinson, Lucas Beaulieu, Lucas Blomquist, Dillon Wall, Jesse Jay and Matt Cox.
Forwards – Thomas Stavert, Chasse Gallant, Jordan Buchanan, Brock Richard, Jonny Arsenault, Hunter McIntyre, Scott Delaney, Nick Currie, Colton Chaisson, Logan Toole, Kyle Pinksen, Isaac Jay, Sam Jay, Jonny Larter, Blaize Bridges.