Written by: Martin Martinson. Via: battlefordsnow.com
Excitement is in the air at the local rink and in the community, as the new hockey season is on the horizon.
The Battlefords North Stars will hold their fall camp in preparation for the 2021-22 campaign this weekend, Aug. 27-29 at the Access Communications Centre.
There will be about 80 players at main camp this year, including list kids (affiliated prospects) and previous draft picks, as well as the returning roster players.
Veteran forward Dylan Esau is among the players helping out at this week’s Hockey School—which will wrap just ahead of the weekend. He said it’s an exciting time around the rink with the start of the new season just around the corner.
“With fall camp coming up, a lot of the guys are starting to come into town and it’s exciting starting to see some familiar faces around the rink and being able to skate with them,” Esau said. “I think everyone’s just really geared (amped) up to get going on Friday.”
Head coach and general manager Brayden Klimosko said having a chance to see some of the draft-eligible players up close will be especially valuable this year, after the 2021 draft was postponed earlier this summer, as a result of last year’s cancelled season.
“The prospects age group will have second-year bantam (U15) and first-year midget (U18) kids in their draft years within our league, around the 14 and 15-year-old range,” Klimosko said. “With us not having a draft this year, this is to get ready for the next draft, and to scout for next June.”
The North Stars’ preseason schedule will begin Mon., Sept. 6 in Kindersley, with two games versus the rival Kindersley Klippers. The first will be a ‘rookie game’ at 1 p.m. featuring prospects and first-year players; followed by a 4 p.m. game which will include veterans on both sides.
Fri., Sept. 8 the Stars will then play Kindersley again for their first home preseason game at 7:30 p.m. at the Access Communications Centre.
That weekend the North Stars will play back-to-back with the La Ronge Ice Wolves, in North Battleford Sat., Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m.; and La Ronge Sun., Sept. 12 for an afternoon showdown at 4 p.m.
The following weekend, Sept. 17 and 18 the Stars will then wrap their exhibition schedule with a home-and-home versus the Nipawin Hawks.
While the preseason games will not be broadcast, each of the Stars’ 58 regular-season games will be available on the NAPA Auto Parts North Stars Hockey Broadcast on 1050 CJNB.
The North Stars will open their regular-season schedule at home Sept. 24 versus the Klippers, at 7:30 p.m.