Written by: Rory McGouran
It’s been 277 days since the Humboldt Broncos last took to the ice. The long and overdue return will finally come to fruition this weekend as the Broncos are set to host their annual training camp.
Camp is scheduled for three days from August 27 – 29,culminating with the Top-40 “Green and Gold Game” on Sunday afternoon. The Broncos will welcome roughly 70 players into the Elgar Petersen Arena who will compete for spots on this year’s roster. In addition, they have eyes on potential future products with 56 underage prospects taking part in the Young Guns Camp throughout the same weekend.
“It’s definitely great to see the boys back on the ice after all this time,” said Head Coach and GM, Scott Barney. “What makes this camp so interesting is that there are so many unknowns. There hasn’t been a lot of hockey to evaluate with most of these players the past year and a half. In the end, we want to see everyone compete. That’s always been the identity of our team. We want the players to come out and make our job as coaches difficult in selecting the team.”
Much like everything else throughout the pandemic, computer screens and zoom meetings have replaced the real experience. The same goes for coaches and scouts across the hockey landscape who have been studying whatever film they could find of their prospects over the last 18 months, attempting to find the next diamond in the rough to add to their lineup.
“These last couple weeks we said multiple times how we can’t wait. We wish camp was starting two weeks ago because we were so excited to get back at it, said Assistant GM and Director of Player Personnel, Luke Strueby. “Getting back into live action and seeing these kids in person is going to be a lot of fun.”
The Broncos coaching staff will be faced with some difficult decisions, especially on the backend. Humboldt is returning sixof seven defensemen from last year’s shortened season on the blueline, putting an emphasis on strong impressions for the new faces to leave their mark. Up front the Broncos appear to have a little more room for players to crack the roster with just sixreturning Broncos from 2020/21. Finally, the starting netminder looks to be written down in ink with the return of Rayce Ramsay from the WHL. However, the backup position remains up for grabs.
The Humboldt Broncos will trim their roster down to the Top-40 on Sunday, before the Green and Gold Game is scheduled to take place 4:00 pm. Admission is free for fans to attend.
The puck will drop on the 2021/22 SJHL Regular Season on September 24.