The Kindersley Jr. Klippers held their spring camp over the weekend.
The weekend full of competition kicked off on Friday evening with the players split into six different teams, working hard to catch the eye of the teams head coach and general manager Ken Plaquin. He talked about the group that made it out to Kindersley.
"We have our kids we drafted over the past couple of seasons who haven't played for us yet, they are on our protected list. There are a handful of Junior B guys who played there when they were 18, and are maybe more ready at 19," said Plaquin about the range of skaters, "Most of the kids are '04 players who just finished their U18 eligibility, so the camp was made up of kids that were 17-18, and a couple of 19 year old's here and there."
Coach also mentioned a few of the players had been invited after the re-scheduled Mac's AAA tournament that usually takes place at Christmas time. Based out of Calgary, Plaquin is very plugged into the area's hockey pipeline and the Mac's event specifically.
"I was there pretty much all day everyday for it. It was nice to have the Mac's back, and it was weird not having it at Christmas time, it kind of changed the atmosphere a little bit," said Plaquin, who was busy recruiting, "There ended up being quite a few players that were in the Mac's. A lot of Calgary kids. As far as spring camps go, I thought it was one of the best I have seen in a long time."
They look forward to getting some of the impressive prospects back on the ice for main camp. Plus with such an especially large group, not everyone is going to get the second look, but Plaquin knows it's his duty as a coach to be vocal and make the experience as good as it can be. Taking time to meet with each player afterward individually is a time consuming task for the coach, but he knows how important feedback can be.
"For a lot of kids it's their first Junior A experience, and we just want to make sure them and their parents know as much as they can about the process, and what the camps are about, and if anybody had any questions, we answered those questions in a group and I think that went really well. At the end of every camp I like to sit down with the kids one-on-one, and tell them why they are coming back to main camp, or why they are not, so they aren't just getting sent home not knowing what happened type of thing."
"The part I hate about this job the most is we can't keep everybody, and we do have to say no and I have to cut kids. But at least we can give them some more information, give them some things to work on, and give them something they can go home and get better with and maybe come back next time and it's a different story."
A flurry of signings shouldn't be too far away with signing day on June 1st, and the SJHL draft is set for shortly after, as Plaquin and company certainly added some more talent to their radar over the weekend.