07/08/2016 3:54 PM
The Powerade Centre is brimming with hope and positivity this weekend as close to 80 free agents have assembled to attend the Brampton Beast’s annual Free Agent Camp, being held from Friday, July 8 to Sunday, July 10.
A great mix of goaltenders, defencemen and forwards from all across the globe will be working their hardest to impress Beast brass in hopes of earning a spot in the club’s main Training Camp to be held closer to the start of the 2016-17 ECHL season.
Beast Assistant Coach Peter Goulet is heading this weekend’s camp and is excited to start watching these Beast hopefuls in action.
“A camp like this gives these young men an opportunity to fulfill the dream of playing professional hockey and that’s why they’re here,” Goulet said.
“You always get a great mixture of players at these camps. From players who played Division I, Division III, CIS, Southern Professional Hockey League, Federal Hockey League, all looking to make the jump to pro or move up a level. These camps provide that opportunity.”
Making the team isn’t a longshot for these young players. Several players from last season’s camp not only graduated to the Beast main Training Camp but spent time with the Beast during the season, proving the camp could very well be a launch pad for a promising pro career.
“When we’re in a jam on the way to a game and we need a player, the first guys you think of are guys who have been in front of you and guys you have seen and met,” Goulet said.
Goulet and company certainly have their work cut out for them this weekend. With so many players in attendance, it can be hard to evaluate and pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in such a short timeframe.
“It is really tough,” Goulet admitted. “There is a mixture of talent out there. Some guys are here for the experience in a pro camp. Everyone here wants to advance and everyone thinks they can and everyone thinks they can make the hockey team. That’s why they’re here.”
While it will be a challenge for all camp attendees to make an impact on the Beast coaching staff, Goulet offered some insight into what he and the coaching staff are looking for.
“We’re looking for guys that can skate, guys who can hold the puck and not throw it away or panic, and guys who can bury on their opportunities,” he said. “It can be tough but that’s hockey. If you see a good hockey player, you know a good hockey player when you see one. You have to be able to skate. If you want to move on to main camp, that would be the first criteria. Obviously, you have to be able to manage the puck, make the right plays and be smart. A lot of games come down to how bad you want to win.”
The weekend will feature a series of scrimmages between teams of the assembled campers. Check back often at BramptonBeast.com for more updates throughout the weekend.
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