PATS CAMP - It was sure good to be back in the rink over the weekend for 2016 training camp in Regina. There was a ton of skill on display and for those that took in the annual Blue and White game... wow. Probably the best intra-squad game I've seen in this my 6th training camp with the Pats and that was even without Adam Brooks and Lane Zablocki on the ice. The entertainment was just a glimpse of what is to come this year. Riley Woods and Jake Leschyshyn put on an absolute show combing for 5 goals as Team White won 6-3.
Leschyshyn and Woods played on a line with newcomer Dawson Leedahl in the game and Head Coach and GM John Paddock says he likes the combination. "They were good, that is sort of what we hoped for. That's where I was going to put Riley with Jake and Dawson at this point for some of the games. He has lot of natural offensive instincts. The other two are such workers but they have ability but sometimes you just need a more creative guy. At least for an inter-squad game the line was more creative." No doubt it would be among the most dangerous third lines in the league if they play like they did on Monday every night.
There are 35 players remaining with the Pats at the moment and there will certainly be some tough decisions to be made going forward. With 17 guys returning from last year there is a lot of competition for few spots on the roster. The decisions will likely take into the regular season to make with the 6 NHL drafted players gone to training camps. The guys still here will get a lot of opportunity to prove themselves.
The club begins the pre-season on Thursday at the Co-operators Arena at 7 PM on 620 CKRM. I am very pleased to announce that Al and Jared Dumba will be back behind the mic with me at all Pats home games.
PATS SIGN AHL - The Regina Pats announced Tuesday they have signed import forward Filip Ahl. He was the 31st pick overall, by the Pats, in the June CHL Import Draft. “We are happy to get Filip signed,” said Pats Head Coach and GM John Paddock. “He has good size and ability. We believe he’s going to be a strong player for us.” The 6’4”, 214 pounder hails from Jonkoping, Sweden. He was a fourth round pick (109th overall) by the Ottawa Senators in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. In 18 games with HV71 Jonkoping of the Swedish SuperElit League, Ahl posted 31 points (18G, 13A) in just 18 games through the 2015-16 season. Over his SuperElit junior career, he totaled 93 points (49G, 44A) in 77 games played.
PATS AWAIT DECISION - Forward Nick Henry who was acquired from the Everett Silvertips at the WHL Bantam Draft this spring is in the midst of making a big decision for his career. Henry was the MJHL rookie of the year last season with the Portage Terriers and has verbally committed to Western Michigan of the NCAA. However the Pats have given him another really good option and he is still trying to decide where he wants to go. "Yeah it's a tough decision. You either wait a couple years and go down to the States or you play in the Western League right now. I will have to make my decision in the next couple of days, talking with my parents and talking with John (Paddock) and (Dave) Struch."
Henry says he is feeling a little pressure from both sides. "Yeah you are getting tugged both ways a little bit. You know you are on the phone all the time either calling or texting John (Paddock) or Andy (Murray) or assistant coaches. It's a lot of talking and stuff but just trying to make the best decision here for my career and hopefully that will get me somewhere where I want to get which is pro hockey."
Henry feels no matter what he decides, it will work out for his benefit to getting to the pros. "There's no wrong decision, no wrong way to go at it but you just have to figure out what's the best for you right now and then so yeah it's going to be a tough decision here in the next couple of days."
However Henry went on to say he's still not sure what is best for him going forward. "I don't know, it's tough feeling it all out you know... The college route you get a couple extra years to develop and you will have a couple extra years to try and earn that pro contract. In the Western League you are going to play with the top guys and this Regina Pat team is going to be a heck of a team this year so it would be a heck of a team to play on."
Pats Head Coach and GM John Paddock says he has been impressed with Henry so far in camp. "I think he showed what our guys had seen in him, our scouts and Dave (Struch) last spring in Estevan (at the WCC). He's very smart, passes the puck hard, makes good plays, shoots the puck hard. That's all apparent."
Paddock on the prospects of signing the 17-year-old. "I guess you could say I am cautiously optimistic that things are going in the right way."
ROYALS RESTRUCTURE HOCKEY OPS - Victoria has announced a restructuring within the Hockey Operations Department following the departure of Grant Armstrong, who served as the Royals’ Assistant GM, Player Personnel, to the Brandon Wheat Kings. Enio Sacilotto moves from assistant coach to the team’s Director of Prospect Development and WHL Scout. Sacilotto will play a key role in the development of the Royals’ prospects that comprise the team’s 50-man list. A search is currently underway for a new assistant coach to serve under Head Coach Dave Lowry.
THUNDER WIN BIG - The Regina Thunder offence exploded for 58 points and the defence held Winnipeg to just two field goals in a 58-7 route of the Rifles on Saturday night at Investors Group Field. QB Sawyer Buettner threw for 296 yards and 4 touchdowns in the win while Kris Calcutt caught 3 touchdowns and had 153 yards and now leads the PFC in receiving yards. The Thunder will host the RIfles Saturday at Leibel Field in a rematch at 7 PM.
That's all I have for today, have a great week!
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