Prospect: a potential or likely candidate.
That definition aptly describes the two-dozen young hockey players who hit the ice at the Penhold Multiplex this past weekend.
The 15- and 16-year-olds are draft picks of the Red Deer Rebels and the camp was geared towards the players learning about the organization and the coaches getting to know the players as individuals, according to Head Coach Jesse Wallin.
The bench boss was impressed with the skill level the youngsters showed.
“I think that was something we really wanted to address in this year’s draft and get some skilled players, adding some talent to our program,” added Wallin, confident it was accomplished.
One of the young talents hoping to crack the Rebels lineup at some point is Adam Musil who was selected in the first round, sixth overall.
The son of former NHL’er Frank Musil says Red Deer was a place he wanted to come to because of the close proximity to friends and family in the area.
“Family is everything for me. They drive me to practices and support me in school so it’s very important to me to be close to family.”
This is his first meeting with the coaching staff and Wallin says the young forward has made a good first impression.
“He’s going to be a horse, I think he’s a real top end guy. He’s a big, powerful skater, he’s got a good shot, he’s mature beyond his years.”
Also raising some eyebrows are a couple of first round picks from last year in Hayden Fleury and Connor Bleakley.
“I think Connor really benefitted from the experience he got playing with us the last season,” said Wallin.
As for Fleury, Wallin says he’s taken big strides in his time with the Rebels and he likes the direction this young man is headed.
“He’s playing with confidence, he’s moving well, he’s going to be a real good player for us.”
Wallin says the camp gives the coaches a good look at what these players can do on the ice and how they might fit into the organization.
“But I think the biggest thing is giving the players some feedback and introducing them to what the Western league is going to look like so they have an idea of where they want to get to, the level they need to train at, the level they need to get to when they come to training camp in August.”
Sounds like there are a few potential or likely candidates.