Friday, August 7, 2009

Blazers' camp roster has local flavour

Daily News Sports Editor
The Kamloops Blazers’ training camp will have a definite hometown flavour this time around.
The WHL team unveiled its 100-player camp roster Friday and it includes 12 players who list Kamloops as their hometown.
Included in that number are F Mark Hall, 19, who missed all of his sophomore season after suffering a knee injury a year ago; D Matt Cumming, 18, who was released by the Prince George Cougars after last season; and, F Ryan Hanes, 17, who played for the junior B Kamloops Storm last season and got into five games with the Blazers.
Other Kamloops products on the camp roster are F Spencer Donaldson, 17; D Marc Dumont, 15; D Brody Hoover, 16; D Chase McLeod, 16; F Brandon Mistal, 17; F Sion Park, 15; D Shane Poulsen, 15; D Zach Tjader, 16; and, F Tyson Witt, 15.
Donaldson was selected by the Edmonton Oil Kings in the eighth round of the 2007 bantam draft but later was dropped from their list.
Players will register for training camp on Aug. 20, 5-6 p.m., at Interior Savings Centre.
On-ice sessions begin Aug. 21, with four rookie practices and two veteran sessions. The day will conclude with two rookie games, at 5:30 and 7:15 p.m.
Camp will run through Aug. 25 and will wrap up with the annual Blue and White game that evening at 7.
D Max Mowat and F Colton Sparrow, a pair of 16-year-olds from Coldstream, also will be in camp. Both are fresh off B.C. Hockey’s three-day under-17 camp in Nanaimo. Eleven players from that camp will play for Team Pacific at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge in Timmins, Ont., Dec. 29 to Jan. 4.
The Blazers have signed Mowat. Sparrow came out of that camp with hip and rib injuries so will sit out the major midget Okanagan Rockets’ camp this weekend.
All of the Blazers’ 2009 bantam draft picks are on the training camp roster, including D Brady Gaudet of Redvers, Sask., who was their first selection, 10th overall, and F Logan McVeigh of Kenaston, Sask., who was taken 32nd overall.
Gaudet and McVeigh signed WHL contracts over the summer.
Two selections from the 2008 draft and six from 2007 won’t be in camp.
F Mitchell Corfmat and D Christopher Manhas, seventh-round selections in 2008, have been dropped from the Blazers’ protected list.
D Daniel Medland-Marchen, a second-rounder in 2007, was dropped last month, while D Isaac MacLeod, D Stefan Gonzales, D Nolan Kaiser and F Kyle Bodnarchuk, also 2007 selections, also have been dropped.
F Grayson Downing, a fourth-round pick in 2007, is on the Blazers’ college list. He has committed to attend the U of New Hampshire.
JUST NOTES: The training camp roster does include F Uriah Machuga, 17, the 5-foot-7, 170-pound pepperpot from Norco, Calif., who began last season with the Blazers. Machuga had three goals in 18 games when he was sent home Dec. 13, for reasons pertaining primarily to school. . . . F Carson Trask, who turns 16 on Sept. 7, will be in camp. He is the younger brother of sophomore F Jake Trask, who will be 18 on Aug. 31. Carson was a ninth-round bantam draft pick by his hometown Saskatoon Blades in 2008 after playing with the Saskatoon Outlaws. He played last season for the midget AA Saskatoon Sabercats. . . . The only player eligible to return off last season’s Blazers’ roster who won’t be in camp is D Michal Siska. The Slovakian was released after the season. . . . The Tri-City Americans are expected to name Jim Hiller as their head coach sometime next week. Hiller was fired by the Chilliwack Bruins after last season.

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