The usual suspects and even a few familiar names were out on the ice this weekend.
However, they were joined by a crop of fresh young faces looking to make and impression.
The Kimberley Dynamiters wrapped up their summer identification camp on Sunday, as 69 skaters ended a weekend filled with practices, drills and scrimmages to showcase their talent to the new management brass.
A few alumni such as Cory Allen, Rylan Duley and Senate Patton were mixed in with some returnees such as Jared Marchi, Dallin Wolf and Eric Buckley.
Some of the younger guns like Jason Richer and Tyson Klingspohn, who are coming off their rookie years last year with the Dynamiters, were also on the camp rosters.
Watching from the stands at Western Financial Place, was head coach Jerry Bancks and general manager Rocky Allen, while the assistant coaches ran scrimmages from the bench on Saturday and Sunday.
“It went extremely well. I liked the compete level out there, it was fairly physical—more so than I thought it would be—I thought it was good,” said Bancks.
“I saw lots of players who showed us lots of good things and it wasn’t hard to find 40 to invite back to main camp.”
Bancks heaped praise on the Dynamiters executive for their part in organizing the camp.
“I think we did a great job of showcasing what the Kimberley Dynamiters are all about. I thought it was extremely well run,” he said.
Those 40 skaters chosen by Bancks and his colleagues, which also include returnees from last year, will have the chance to crack the roster at main camp at the end of August.
“I was really, really impressed with the attitudes of the returning players,” said Bancks. “They provided great leadership. They had the kids out leading the warmup before games and it was awesome.”
A few local kids will have the chance to get their foot into the KIJHL after spending their budding careers playing high level Midget hockey.
Marco Campanella, who played with the Cranbrook Midget Tier 2 Ice in the South Central Alberta Hockey League last season, was also an affiliate player (AP) with the Nitros.
He wore the Dynamiters crest for one game and wants to get in more this season.
“I found it was good,” said Campanella, of his only game in the KIJHL. “It was a lot faster, bigger players, but I felt like I could fit in there and felt like I could skate with them.”
Campanella led the Cranbrook Ice in points last year, with 13 goals and 20 assists in 30 games, despite battling a few injuries.
Tristan Pagura is another local player who could be playing with the team, however, he has a few options available to him.
Pagura, a defenceman, was drafted by the Kelowna Rockets in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, and will be attending the team’s training camp at the end of August.
“They got a lot of D so I’m trying to make an impression at least, so if they don’t want me this year, at least they can look at me for next year,” said Pagura.
If things don’t work out in Kelowna, he will also get a chance to crack the roster with the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters.
Pagura made the jump from Midget AA in the South Central league to the B.C. Major Midget League last season, where he was based out of Nelson.
“Our team wasn’t that great, but the league’s really good,” said Pagura. “We play against a lot of top players, like the first overall picks and all those guys, so it was good to play against them.
“I got more adjusted to the speed, going from AA in Cranbrook to that.”
There are a few weeks to go until the Dynamiters host their main camp at the Kimberley Civic Centre, which will take place on the final weekend of August.