Cents’ spring camp at the Coast a success
An estimated 114 midget and junior-aged players converged on the Planet Ice facility in Maple Ridge on the June 22-24 weekend for the Merritt Centennials’ second annual Coast evaluation camp.
“Aside from some crazy weather that we had on Saturday - some windstorms, lots of rain, a few trees blown down - it was a very successful camp,” stated Cents’ assistant coach and GM Joe Martin. “We were happy with the talent that we had out there.”
While the evaluation camp was strictly put on by the Centennials, Marten said that there were several coaches and scouts from Junior B clubs in attendance, too.
“We had representatives from Mission, Ridge Meadows, Abbotsford, Castlegar, Fernie and Princeton. They were helping us out on the benches and, of course, recruiting for their own clubs at the same time.”
Also lending a hand with coaching, officiating and timekeeping were current Centennials Brent Fletcher, Tyler Martin and Regan Soquila.
Newly-acquired Cents Derek Huisman (from Chilliwack) and Sebastien Paré (from Langley) also stopped by on the weekend to become better acquainted with some of their new teammates, as well as Martin and Centennials’ head coach Luke Pierce.
While Martin confirmed that there were no actual signings following the Maple Ridge camp, he did state, “Luke and I had discussions with several individuals and their families - about Merritt and about our team. A few players got invitations to our main camp in late August.”
Martin went on to add, “With only a 40-man main camp planned, we want to make sure that we bring in the right kind of players to make a championship team. At the same time, we also want to bring in a couple of players that we know right now are probably a year away from playing in the BCHL.”
As for Huisman and Paré, Martin stated that both players will be tremendous additions to next season’s team.
“They’re both character players that everyone we’ve talked to speaks extremely highly of.”