|Credit to Arena Director Neil Hawryliw|
and his staff for getting the ice set
over the weekend!
Out of the roughly 100 players attending the Invite Camp over the next two days, just a handful will impress the Hockey Operations department enough to advance on to Main Camp, which begins Wednesday afternoon.
Several of the Invite Camp hopefuls are West Michigan natives, including six from the Lakeshore area and eight more from Grand Rapids and vicinity. There are a few from greater Lansing and Kalamazoo as well, giving this side of the state a real presence at the start of this week.
Mona Shores goaltender Nate Rabbitt, the son of former Lumberjack netminder Pat, leads the Lakeshore contingent at Tryout Camp. Defensemen Austin Buit (Muskegon), Brendan Alderink (Muskegon; plays for Reeths-Puffer) and Danial Kilinski (Montague) are joined by forwards Jeremiah Duckworth (Holland) and Harry Braafhart (Fremont).
The Grand Rapids-area players are as follows: forwards Michael Behm, Nicholas Allen, Michael Dery, Jesse Buchholz, Collin Finkhouse and Joshua Keller, plus blueliners Cam Bathum and Jake Holden.
All of the above players are distributed among six teams for evaluation purposes: rosters are available upon request. Hurry down to the arena today and/or tomorrow to catch these local youths in action as they try to stand out and earn their way into Main Camp!
Update: 5:30 p.m. - I mentioned the players from the Lansing area, and I happened to meet one of them after he played in the 2 p.m. scrimmage today. Davis Dekorte played for the Lansing Capitals youth program before moving on to skate for Kalamazoo Junior Wings in the Tier II North American Hockey League last year.
While with the Jr. K-Wings, Dekorte was teammates briefly with Chad McDonald, whom the Lumberjacks acquired in a trade with Des Moines. Dekorte called McDonald a "very skilled player" whom he thinks will fit in quite well in Muskegon.
Of course, Dekorte is vying to make the Lumberjacks alongside his former teammate. A 6-foot-1, 190-pound 19-year-old, he is one of many at Invite Camp looking to beat the odds and carve out a place at Main Camp. Dekorte generated some great scoring chances for Team Blue, and he has two more contests left tomorrow to make an impression.