The first on ice session at 2016 Regina Pats Spring Camp took place on Saturday morning at the Cooperators Centre. Friday night consisted of an orientation for parents and players and then fitness testing. At 10:30 Saturday the 19 players hit the ice along with current Pats players Adam Brooks, Jake Leschyshyn, Riley Woods and Rykr Cole.
It was a faced paced skate and 2016, 4th round pick Tristen Robins says he has enjoyed his time here so far. "Pretty great experience, you know it's always great to see the draft picks and everything. It's even better that I've got some guys I know so it's easy to gel, easy to come in here, it's lots of fun."
The Robins family has a connection to Assistant Coach and Assistant GM Dave Struch. Tristen's dad Trevor played with Struch with the Saskatoon Blades from 1989 to 1992 and then again in Europe with the London Knights of the BISL in 2001-02. Robins says that makes being drafted to Regina that much better. "I think it's easier if it's that way then if you are just coming in not knowing anyone."
Size is what Barteaux wants to put on ahead of main camp this fall "Just put on more weight so I can play with these 20-year-olds and handle my own."
Assistant Coach and Assistant GM Dave Struch says it has been nice to put faces to names so far this weekend. "It's exciting especially for John and I and the coaching staff because we haven't had a chance to see them. When you come into something like this, with the trust we have in our scouting staff, getting an opportunity to see them in this setting starting last night with some fitness testing, it's not really an evaluation weekend. It's an opportunity for us to get to know the players, the draft picks from last year, getting to know the draft picks from this year. So far so good, a great group of kids. Obviously when you look at the draft list that we had this year, a lot of them were leaders on their teams and that's a start. We are talking about building something really special here in Regina and these kids are the future and so far it's been pretty good."
The players and parents get a tour of Riffel High School Saturday afternoon and will take part in a team meal. The next on ice session is Sunday morning at 10:30 at the Co-Operators Centre.