Kings hockey team eager to start season

  • Sep. 11, 2013 3:33 p.m.

It’s been over a year in the making but Trevor Keeper finally has a men’s hockey team at Red Deer College.

“I watched a lot of junior hockey games last winter on top of coaching the Queens (RDC) hockey team, recruited 24 players to come to Red Deer College with some walk-ons trying out,” said the Kings head coach.

Keeper said it’s a mixed bunch coming from various programs but as a team returning to the ACAC they all come into this situation as rookies.

“I can see that they’re treating each other with respect and everyone is kind of on the same level so that definitely helps team dynamics.”

An area of comfort for the Kings will likely be in goal where Mike Salmon will be joined by former Red Deer Rebel netminder Kraymer Barnstable.

He said the highest point of his self-admitted rollercoaster of a junior career was with the Rebels and jumped at the chance to come back to a city where he made some good friends.

“I liked the idea of Red Deer College being a new team and getting a fresh start ,” he said. “I talked to Trevor and just the things he said it just sounded like a good fit for me.”

Keeper added both Barnstable and Salmon carry a lot of confidence with them and he points to Barnstable’s CIS playing time at UBC as a bonus for the Kings.

“He brings experience and maturity, not only as an athlete and a goaltender but he’s been in school and he knows what it takes to be a successful university player.”

Keeper said many junior players come out of those programs having just played hockey so to balance school with sport could be a challenge.

“I have told them already, school comes first because it doesn’t do you or the team any good if you’re not around because of grades.”

In addition to what Barnstable brings to the Kings on the ice the 23-year-old feels he might be able to be a sounding board for some of his teammates on a young team.

“I hope some of the guys can use that, ask me questions and hopefully I have the right answers for them,” he said. “I hope to be a leader this year and lead by example. I know hockey is hockey but when you add the school aspect it’s a huge thing to add on.”

Barnstable said he likes what he’s seen from the Kings in the few practices they’ve had and feels there is no shortage of skill in front of him to put the puck in the net.

“It’s been a really fast tempo over the few days and I know once we get into systems and we’re all on the same page it will only get better.”

Keeper said he has players well over the 6 ft. mark and some under that number but all of his recruits have the common trait of being able to skate.

“From there I try to recruit guys with really good hockey sense, smart with or without the puck and guys that have character, you know, compete level regardless of size,” he said.

As for team goals in their first year Keeper said he’s fine with making the playoffs but added this team has deeper goals to shoot for.

“The team we recruited on paper, there’s lots of potential there so it’s up to the coaching staff and the players to develop the chemistry and the team situation where they can overachieve.”

The Kings open their exhibition schedule against SAIT Sept. 13 in Penhold.

sports@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Bruce Buruma enters the UCP nomination race for Red Deer South

Vote for candidate takes place early in the New Year

Rollovers near Ponoka keep crews busy

Wintry road conditions proved a struggle for motorists on the QE2 highway with several incidents

Central Alberta Theatre heads into ‘holiday’ mode with latest offering

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some) open Nov. 17th at the Black Knight Inn

Canada Winter Games upgrades completed at Canyon Ski Resort

Officials say improving the resort makes it a destination for future winter sports competitions

Red Deerian helps Kenyan woman get slushy machine – the first in Northern Kenya

The woman named her store after Red Deer because of all the support

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Castor, Forestburg, coal workers get $257,644 to transition to low-carbon economy

Two transition centres will serve seven communities in the Battler River Region

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Police probe several allegations of sex assault at Toronto school

Police say they have learned of other incidents of alleged assault and sexual assault

Missing-persons list tops 600 in fire-stricken California

Disaster escalates as officials raised the death toll to 63

VIDEO: The definition of a kilogram has officially changed

50-plus countries voted to a ground-breaking overhaul to the international system of measurements

Most Read