Think you have what it takes to skate with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks? There might just be a chance to find out as the ‘Backs embark on their search to round out their roster with fresh talent from their spring hockey camps.
Beginning April 27-29 with their Salmon Arm camp at the Shaw Centre, the ‘Backs will be hosting a series of camps to identify players that would fit well on the Silverbacks’ bench, or with one of the many Junior B teams in B.C..
“Players from the age of 14-19 will be vying for a spot on the Silverbacks’ roster, for the 2018-2019 season,” says Silverbacks’ president and GM Troy Mick. “There will be eight teams and a total of 160 players at camp for those three days. We know we only have 23 spots but we’re looking for this year and honestly we’re looking for a year or two out, we’re trying to place them on Junior B teams.”
The Silverbacks are also affiliated with a Junior B hockey team in Colorado, the Steamboat Springs Wranglers, and players at the spring camps will be eligible to be placed with the Wranglers.
These spring camps are typically a great source of new talent for the Silverbacks, bringing together some of the most promising young hockey players from around the region. Mick says they are hopeful to draft more local players into their ranks.
“Always we’re hoping to find local players, and that’s probably one of the biggest things,” Mick says. “Here is an opportunity where we can really track the local players, I mean if we can have more local players then obviously we’re happy, the community is happy.”
However, Mick notes that playing for the hometown team brings with it a number of pressures that a player may not have predicted.
“They’ve gotta be ready to play, because it’s a real tough thing to play in your home town. The pressures of impressing family and friends and just the community, it wears out some of the kids. This is what I tell a lot of them, but I know we’ll have at least one or two on our lineup in this coming year,” he says.
Beyond simply looking for gifted skaters with a mean slap-shot, it is important for the Silverbacks to find players with good attitudes. A player’s behaviour off the ice and the way they represent the team and the community is just as important as their hockey skills.
“It’s not a matter of just dropping the puck and playing games, we want to see what type of kids they are, we want to see what they are all about,” Mick says. “Usually all of these players are pretty good hockey players, what makes them really good is what they’re like in the dressing room, what are they like on the bench. Are they good teammates? Do they lead by example? Those are the key things, the things that really set the wanna-be’s apart from from the real team-players.”