The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Terry Frey
Posted: 04/18/2019 7:25 AM
Spending an hour or so taking in the talent last weekend at the Steinbach Pistons annual spring camp, one gets the impression that if the Pistons can land a few of these players in upcoming player drafts, the future continues to look bright for the Pistons down the road.
By far the majority of the players that attended the spring camp are too young to play in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League next season, or perhaps even the season after, but this is all an important process in selecting players for future teams, players that have been scouted by the Pistons’ staff throughout the season.
There were about 130 players that strut their stuff on the Pistons’ home ice last weekend, a last hurrah for this year before the ice was removed for the season this week.
This is also an important process for the annual MJHL bantam age draft, which will be held June 9 in Winnipeg.
Pistons’ head coach and general manager Paul Dyck spent the weekend assessing the players along with assistant coaches Calvin Bugyik and Graham Pollock and other members of the scouting staff.
Players in the camp were divided into seven teams and they spent the rest of the weekend scrimmaging against other teams as they each took to the ice four times for scrimmages through the course of the weekend.
"We were pleased with the turnout and with the quality of players that attended the camp," said Dyck.
"Our scouts have been watching these players throughout the year but it is a great benefit to us to have them here in our camp so we can see them up close as we work towards finalizing our draft list."
"It is also a great experience for the players as they can maybe get a little taste of a junior hockey program."
As for the talent level on hand at the camp, Dyck says, "I have been doing this for six or seven years now and I can see the quality level of these players is getting better, they are faster and they are just 14-year-old kids, many of whom will be drafted into the MJHL this year and some into the WHL."
With their third place finish this year, the Pistons will have the ninth pick in the first round of the MJHL draft and then will pick 20th as a result of a previous trade transaction.