There were a lot of new faces at the Grand Forks Border Bruins training camp this past weekend but coach and general manager Brad Snyder said it was the veterans who stood out.
Snyder, who is new as well, singled out returning players Tucker Brown, Michael Rand and Graeme Watkins.
“Watkins really showed well and was one of our shining stars,” said Snyder. “Between him and Tucker and Michael—those three guys played really well.”
He told the Gazette he was quite impressed with what he saw from the players at camp.
“It was quite entertaining,” said Snyder. “It was a very spirited camp. The kids are working really hard. I think the main thing I like is they have a great attitude. Even the ones from last year, they came back for the right reasons. They want to be part of the community and they want to work hard. That’s a big point for me.”
Snyder said about 30 players tried out for the Bruins and he’s cut that number to around 22 after the weekend.
“We still have a lot of kids at Junior A camps so we’re waiting to see who gets cut and where they end up,” he said. “Right now I’m really happy with how things are going.”
In addition to on-ice and dryland sessions, the Bruins also hit the road for a couple of exhibition games to let the coaching staff evaluate players.
On Saturday the team travelled to Fruitvale to face a split squad from defending champion Beaver Valley. The next night, Grand Forks went to Osoyoos and faced the Coyotes losing 5-2.
In addition to the veterans, coach Snyder pointed out a couple of new players that played very well: Josh Gladman, an 18 yaer-old winger from Vancouver, and Logan Hascarl, a 17 year-old defenceman from Nakusp.
“Gladman broke his leg in December so he hasn’t been on skates for awhile but he played really well,” said Snyder. “Hascarl stepped right in and showed he could play.”
The Bruins hosted Osoyoos on Tuesday (after press time) at the Jack Goddard Memorial Arena in Grand Forks.
Thursday the team travels to Castlegar.
The regular season begins on Friday, Sept. 12 when the Bears host the league’s newest team from 100 Mile House. The game is the first of three game home stand in three days.