Wednesday, May 06, 2009

North Stars announce summer camp dates

Let the summer camping season begin.

The next generation of Traverse City North Stars will begin to take shape with the North American Hockey League Draft on May 20, with further refinements to come at the team’s off-season camp schedule released on Tuesday.

The club, entering its fifth season of NAHL competition in 2009-10, will host open tryout camps at Traverse City’s Centre ICE arena June 6-8, and at Suburban Ice in East Lansing from June 25-27 in advance of the invite-only training camp back in TC in late July.

“Last year at this time, we were really working on re-tooling our defensive unit,” said North Stars head coach-GM Anthony Palumbo. “This year we’re working with a bit more balance and depth, but we’re still looking for some impact players up front, and we have some holes to fill on defense and in net as well.”

In a sense, the Stars could be witting victims of their own success. Coming off a remarkable 34-17-7 campaign, playoff berth, and numerous postseason honors, several players are hearing the call of the USHL and NCAA. Palumbo says it’s a product of the organization’s overarching plan.

“Moving guys along to the next level has always been one of our top priorities,” he explained. “Yeah, you want to win, but we’re in the business of developing players for college hockey. We’ve been fortunate to put a great number of kids in schools over the years, and when you make that your number one goal, you’ll have good players and successful teams.”

The club has tendered five players – forwards Sean Keane (Honeybaked), Derek Bayagich (Honeybaked) and Alec Shields (Pittsburgh Predators), defenseman Matt Davis (Lake Forest Academy) and goalie Tyler Marble, who has already committed to Lake Superior State. These players, and those who will be selected in the May 20 draft, will battle it out for roster spots at the summer camps, with the final selections earning a TC sweater at training camp.

“We had a successful season and we have some good players coming back,” Palumbo surmised. “But these things are settled on the ice. We’re going to take the 24 or 25 guys into next season that we think can help us win an NAHL championship. We’re excited to get started on that process.”


Northern Tryout Camp: June 5-7
Centre ICE arena, Traverse City

Southern Tryout Camp: June 26-28
Suburban Ice, East Lansing

2009 Training Camp: Dates TBA
Centre ICE arena, Traverse City

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