The Wheatland Kings hosted their spring identification camp over the weekend, which is when the team hosts young prospects for a skate to scout who may be a King next season. Several current Kings players also joined the prospects.
Kings General Manager Lee Smith said they were able to identify several local players from the Strathmore area, Drumheller, and Calgary. Seeing these potential players skate alongside the current players gave Smith and the scouting team a good look at what next year's roster could look like.
"It kind of gives us an idea of where kids are at in comparison to what's out there, and it also gives the kids that come to the camp an understanding of where you have to be to play in this league," he said.
Last year the Kings team had many rookies and 18–19 year old players, and Smith is looking forward to what that young core can do with a year of experience under their belt alongside the potential incoming new talent. Despite their lack of experience, the Kings showed plenty of promise last year as they beat the top 3 teams in the league (Okotoks, Cochrane, Medicine Hat) and won a playoff series against Coaldale.
"We're getting to be one of the better teams in the league and we're really striving for that. I think we're going to be a good club."
While there's still plenty of time before the Kings lace up for next year, Smith already has high hopes and has a lofty goal he thinks the team can achieve.
"We'd like to crack that top three in the South because that's where the top teams (Okotoks, Cochrane, Medicine Hat) play out of. If we could crack that top three and move up into second or so it's kind of where we're heading. We're always trying to be #1, but it's a hard league to do that in."
The Kings will host several other summer skates and camps prior to their season start to continue evaluating and finding new team members to lace up for Wheatland.
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