This hockey season is still underway but 100 Mile House Wrangler coach Dale Hladun is already looking for the stars of the future.
Hladun plans to host a spring camp from March 31 to April 2 for prospective players. Although he is looking for those born between 2003 and 2007 for the Wranglers, he is also accepting minor hockey players – the “future stars” – born between 2008 and 2009. The Wranglers are part of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
“They’re not eligible to play in junior hockey yet but some of these kids want to learn what it takes to play at the junior level,” Hladun said. “What we’re going to do with the younger group, the future stars, will be controlled scrimmages and teach them body contact, angling and what junior level is going to take.”
The aim is to give the younger players an understanding of what it takes to be a junior B hockey player and dispel some of the misinformation out there about the expectations of the sport. It will also give him a chance to see what players are coming up the ranks, especially locally. He hopes to see turnout from across the region, as well as provincially.
“They may be a year away but we can at least affiliate them.”
Hladun said he hopes to get at least two teams of future stars and up to four Wrangler prospect teams. The two groups will not be mixed together, he added.
“You can never stop recruiting. You’d be surprised by how many are already identified,” he said, adding there’s a lot of competition for players. “You have to stay ahead of the game. With Spokane coming back in our league, we’ll be up to 20 teams again. There’s 14 in the Lower Mainland and 10 on the island so there’s so much junior hockey.”
More information will be posted in the coming weeks but Hladun said parents can register at 100milewranglers.com under the camps tab. There is a fee of $225, which will cover ice time, jerseys and referees at the South Cariboo Rec Centre.
For more information, contact Hladun at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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