The valley gets a look at its latest hockey talent pool this weekend, when the Columbia Valley Rockies host their first recruitment camp of the season.
This year’s Rockies rookie camp runs July 29 to 31 at the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena. While it’s the first time potential players will hit local ice this season, recently appointed coach and general manager Marc Ward says the team is already well into recruitment.
“Right now we’ve got about 20 to 25 players committed for the camp, and then we’ve got verbal commitments from another 15,” he says. “There’s some local kids, there’s some from around B.C. and then there’s some coming from around Alberta.”
No names are being mentioned yet, but Ward says it’s possible spectators will recognize some of the talent hitting the rink — though the Rockies veterans still eligible to play in the KIJHL won’t be back until the team hosts its main camp in August.
“It’s basically a rookie camp, It’s pretty much an open camp just to see the kind of talent we can bring to main camp,” says ward.
“A lot of [last year’s players] are going to Junior A camps and stuff like that, so we’ll know more about returning players for main camp in August.”
Registration for the camp begins at noon on Friday, with play running throughout the weekend until about 2 p.m. on Sunday. The camp is open to the public.
Ward, who signed on as head coach in March, says building structure for the team is going to be key when the Rockies’ season finally begins.
“We’re looking to build a developmental program, a positive environment, a hard working environment,” he says.
“We’ll have success through developing our players and having good structure and systems in place.”