After another strong season in which the Castlegar Rebels finished second overall in the KIJHL and lost in seven games to Beaver Valley in the second round, the team is getting for training camp.
The camp is set for August 17 through to the 19 at the Castlegar Complex.
“We’re hoping to get a good look at some local talent,” said Rebels’ head coach Steve Junker. “We’re also looking at bringing some other talent in to make a stab at our squad for the upcoming season.”
This year’s camp is earlier than previous years, with the Rebels wanting to get going before the Junior A camps start.
“It’s also a little benefit for the players before they head off for their Junior A camps,” said Junker. “Not only do we get to have a look at them, but they get a little shot in the arm before they head off and make their case at a Junior A camp.”
The Rebs will have a pretty good idea of what the 2012-13 roster will look like when pre-season rolls around in September.
“There are some players that for whatever reason, can’t make the camp, they’re at a Junior A camp or whatever, that we might invite back later,” said Junker.
“There’s always some late changes, the trickle down effect, waiting on Junior A rosters to be done. But we like to have it done for the most part before school opens up so we can get guys settled in and put in billet homes if they’re from out of town.”
Without knowing who will be sticking with Junior A teams, Junker won’t name who will be returning for the Rebels.
“From a Castlegar Rebels’ fan perspective we’d love to get our guys back, but we realize that we’re hoping they take the next step and play Junior A,” he said. “But we’re not going to know that for awhile.”
Despite not knowing who’s coming back, Junker anticipates that the Rebs will once again be strong contenders.
“I think we’ll be a strong team again. I have no doubt in that,” he said. “You can talk to anyone and there’s three or four guys that can swing your club and determine whether you’re an upper-echelon team or just in the mix. But I have no doubt we’ll be there in the mix. It’s a matter of whether we can find those few guys that can push us over the top.”