The Manitoba Junior Hockey League hosted their inaugural Prospects Developmental camp this past weekend, which featured 6 Pistons prospects as well as Pistons Head Coach and General Manager Paul Dyck.
The camp was held at Seven Oaks Arena in Winnipeg where prospects born in 2000 and 2001 took part in events such as on-ice practices and scrimmages as well as off-ice informational sessions with special guests.
The Pistons prospects that took part in the camp included forward Max Neill, defensemen Matthew Boonstra, Jonathon Lambos, Jack Lenchyshyn, Curtis Ireland and goaltender Danton Belluk.
Also helping out at the camp were Pistons forward Will Koop and equipment manager Riley Kosmolak.
Dyck believes the introduction of the MJHL Developmental camp is a great addition to the league. “It gives the younger players an opportunity to see what our league is all about, and it also gives us an opportunity to see some of our prospects up close.”
Two of those prospects, defenseman Jonathon Lambos and Curtis Ireland, were able to take part in a practice run by Dyck.
Both agree that taking part in a camp that features Junior A experienced coaches like Dyck and fellow MJHL prospects is key to helping players transition from the midget level to junior.
“I think it’s really good for the league to put this on, as it allows guys to get more familiar with the MJHL,” explains 16 year old Lambos, who played for the under 16 Omaha AAA Lancers of the North American Prospects Hockey League last season.
For 17-year-old Curtis Ireland, who played for the Midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings, the experience is great for players like him. “Getting to know some of the guys from different teams that you could possibly be playing against in the future, and seeing the talent level in your age group is important.”
As for their on-ice session together, Dyck was impressed with what he saw. “Lambos and Ireland both stood out in practice today. Both are talented players who are committed to the game, so it was great to be on the ice with them.”
Both Pistons prospects goals for the upcoming season are to be playing junior hockey, but understand there is still a lot of work that is needed to play at the level.
My goal is to get bigger and stronger in order to make that jump to the junior level,” says Ireland. “It’s a physical league, and you need to be strong and fast in order to play.”
“Id like to be playing junior hockey, but overall, I’m going to do whatever it takes to become the best player I can be,” explains Lambos.
All 6 of the Pistons prospects that took part in the inaugural MJHL Developmental camp will attend Pistons Main camp, which is set to begin on Tuesday, September 5th.