Published: Saturday, 27 August 2016 07:50
Written by Gino De Paoli
The Okotoks Oilers have hit the ice in preparation for the 2016-17 season as training camp is officially underway.
With 15 current returnees back in Okotoks going through fitness testing and on ice sessions everyone in camp knows what's at stake as the team pushes for it's first ever Gas Drive Cup.
Oilers Head Coach Tyler Deis says this will be a very competitive camp heading into pre-season games.
“We have a lot of players coming back and they're a big part of this team so our main camp is smaller than in other years but everyone is fighting for positions out here,” he says.
For the past two seasons the opening day roster for the Oilers included one 16 year old player from Nolan Thompson in 2014 and Brayden Jenkins in 2015 and Deis says the possibility of having another young body in the line-up is very possible.
“We have some great 2000's that are coming in here and they're going to try and get a roster spot on this team. If we feel if they're ready to be able to play on this team and we can get those minutes for their development then we will pick the best players here and if it's a 2000 it's a 2000.”
With just four departures from last season and a couple players starting at WHL camps Deis says even the veterans will be battling for positions in all key situations.
“Everyone that we've brought in here have a legit chance in making this team. For us going forward there will be some cuts here and there but it will be probably a little bit more sporadic then just mass cuts there and mass cuts here.”
The Oilers will be on the ice and dry land training most of the day Saturday and camp concludes with the Black & White game on Sunday at Pason Centennial Arena at 2:15 and the public is welcome to watch.