Monday, April 27, 2009

Metro staff pleased with weekend's camp

The Metro Jets started their efforts of putting this past season behind them with a two-day pre-CSHL draft camp last weekend at Lakeland Arena.

More than 30 players came to the camp with hopes of impressing the Jets' brass enough to make the team next fall and help Metro improve on their seven-win season of 2008-2009.

"I was pretty happy this weekend," Jets assistant coach Ryan Skop said. "We had a turnout of just about what we expected. We had a real good mix of veterans and prospects on each squad and it was fun to watch how well they worked together."

The camp consisted of up-tempo scrimmages and goalie changes on the fly. If nothing else, the camp provided optimism to a team that searched to find that last season.

"Certainly, we still have plenty of work to do," said Skop. "However, after this weekend, I'm confident we're headed in the right direction. After getting a chance to see our top prospects on the ice together, I'm really excited to get to the draft (May 23-24) and get to main camp (in mid-July)."

"The consensus was that the camp was successful," added Metro GM Butch Wolfe. "In my opinion, it did what it was supposed to do. It gave us a look at players we are considering taking in the draft in a bit more of a competitive environment."

Still, the camp did have one minor negative and that was players that had committed to coming to camp decided not to. In Skop's mind, that's not even an issue and he actually put a spin on it to be a positive in the long run.

"Anytime you hold any sort of camp or tryout, you're going to have letdowns and you're going to have some surprises," added Skop. "It's safe to say the surprises far outweigh the letdowns from the weekend. There were two or three guys who were further down our radar, or not on it at all, that jumped up and made a name for themselves. That's what we wanted."

"For now, though, it's back to the rinks and phones to continue talking to and recruiting players."

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