HUMBOLDT — After a three-day training camp, the head coach of the Humboldt Broncos said he’s happy with the team that’s being created to contest the upcoming season.
“All the guys came here and worked hard,” Scott Barney said. “All in all, it was a really successful weekend, we believe.”
The camp, which took place Sept. 4 to 6, saw the team welcome 42 skaters and end up with 28 to further develop.
As the Broncos were a young team last year, with only two aging out, many of the players could return. Barney said before the camp that whether or not they’d return would depend on the progress they made over the summer.
He was not disappointed.
“I thought all the veterans looked really good. They came, they put in a lot of hard work all this summer and you know what? It’s paid off. I think they're all ready to go here.”
The coach said the commitment the veterans put into improving this summer shows there’s a lot of leadership in the room.
Barney said the veterans that wanted to return are moving forward to the next stage.
“We're really happy that they want to be back here, looking to put their two feet forward here and help the Broncos organization move forward here and have a great season.”
The head coach was also pleased with the new players trying out for a spot on the team.
Carson Schultz, an 18-year-old centre from Beaumont, Alta., played with the Leduc Oil Kings U18 AAA last season.
“Really good skater, strong on the puck. He's going to be a very big player here for the future for our team.”
Ben Wourms-Rowe, an 18-year-old forward from Moose Jaw, played eight games with the Broncos last year.
“Big kid. Moves well for his size, really thinks a game well,” Scott said about the 6'4", 190 pound player. “He's already had the experience playing some games in our league, which will give him some advantage. He's a guy who's really going to push a lot of our veterans for ice time here.”
Justin Keck, an 18-year-old forward from Morris, Man., played with the Pembina Valley Hawks U18 AAA last season.
“He’s really fast and he’s got a really good quick release with his shot,” he said.
“We believe that he's got a good future here in this league with scoring and hopefully he continues to grow here and be a great player for us.”
Barney said the team has no pressing needs at this point when it comes to the collection of skills his players have.
“We're happy with everything that's going on here. Obviously, things can change on a day-to-day basis or week-to-week basis, but there's no real urgencies that we're looking to fill right now.”
Right now, the coach said, the goal is to improve the players’ game and get them to bond as teammates.
At this point, the players are now living in the community. Over the coming days, they’ll do ice practices daily, workouts, examining their performance through video and getting involved in the community.
It’s up to the Saskatchewan Health Authority as to when competitive play can start.
“We’re really excited,” Barney said. “I think we got a good team here this season. We're really excited to hopefully get the season going so we can get the fans back in the rink, watching us and supporting us.”