Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Neal's Notes: CHLPA & Draft Camp Wrap

Andy Neal talks about the CHLPA and reaction from Royals Draft Camp:


Out of nowhere comes the Canadian Hockey League Players Association. It’s a players’ association representing major junior players across the WHL, OHL and QMJHL. Former NHL’er Gorges Laraque has been named the first Executive Director for the CHLPA, which he announced on his twitter account of being “proud” to accept the role of. Unfortunately, he missed his first media appearance with the Fan 590 in Toronto. CHLPA Spokesperson Derek Clark told the Montreal Gazette that the focus is on improvements in the area of education. He added that the CHLPA has representatives from all 60 clubs and has been in the works for 14 months.

Jon Keen, the voice of the Kamloops Blazers, forwarded these comments from Blazers’ Owner Tom Gaglardi.

The Victoria Royals Draft Camp ended today and gives way to the rookie camp.  Judging by what a few players have said, the experience has been tremendous, and now they’ll be part of a much, much larger group of players looking to advance to the main camp, which will get underway next Monday. 160 players, divided among eight teams, will be in Victoria for the rookie camp.

What’s interesting coming out of the draft camp is that three players will be a part of the Okanagan Hockey Academy/Pursuit of Excellence bitter rivalry at the midget level. The Royals’ first choice, Tyler Soy, and their fourth selection, Matthew Campese, will play for OHA, the same team 16-year-old defenceman, and Royals’ first 2010 pick, Joe Hicketts played for last season. Chaz Reddekopp, who was the 13th overall pick by Victoria, will suit up for the Pursuit of Excellence team.

“They’re rivals,” said Reddekopp. “We’ll play each other quite a bit.”
“It’s been interesting, beaking each other and teasing one another,” added Soy. “But it should be fun.”

Campese, the son of Prince Albert Raiders' General Manager Bruno Campese, is not going the Saskatchewan Midget AAA route, and his hometown Prince Albert Mintos. He said it was a pretty easy decision to make the commitment to OHA.

“This year, I heard that Tyler was going and that they were going to have a strong team, so it was a no-brainer, “ said Campese.“At OHA, I think I can grow as a player and a person, more. In the Saskatchewan league, I think you can only grow as a player. Just the way they do things at OHA; we’re training every day, practising every day, we’re watching video every day. I think I can mature as a player and person, too.”