The Regina Pats continued their 2016 Training Camp on Sunday and all eyes are on forward Nick Henry and whether or not he decides to choose Regina and the WHL for his hockey career.
Forward Nick Henry who was acquired from the Everett Silvertips at the WHL Bantam Draft this spring is in the midst of making a big decision. Henry was the MJHL rookie of the year last season with the Portage Terriers and has verbally committed to Western Michigan of the NCAA. However the Pats have given him another really good option and he is still trying to decide where he wants to go. “Yeah it’s a tough decision. You either wait a couple years and go down to the States or you play in the Western League right now. I will have to make my decision in the next couple of days, talking with my parents and talking with John (Paddock) and (Dave) Struch.”
Henry says he is feeling a little pressure from both sides. “Yeah you are getting tugged both ways a little bit. You know you are on the phone all the time either calling or texting John (Paddock) or Andy (Murray) or assistant coaches. It’s a lot of talking and stuff but just trying to make the best decision here for my career and hopefully that will get me somewhere where I want to get which is pro hockey.”
Henry feels no matter what he decides, it will work out for his benefit to getting to the pros. “There’s no wrong decision, no wrong way to go at it but you just have to figure out what’s the best for you right now and then so yeah it’s going to be a tough decision here in the next couple of days.”
However Henry went on to say he’s still not sure what is best for him going forward. “I don’t know, it’s tough feeling it all out you know… The college route you get a couple extra years to develop and you will have a couple extra years to try and earn that pro contract. In the Western League you are going to play with the top guys and this Regina Pat team is going to be a heck of a team this year so it would be a heck of a team to play on.”
Pats Head Coach and GM John Paddock says he has been impressed with Henry so far in camp. “I think he showed what our guys had seen in him, our scouts and Dave (Struch) last spring in Estevan (at the WCC). He’s very smart, passes the puck hard, makes good plays, shoots the puck hard. That’s all apparent.”
Paddock on the prospects of signing the 17-year-old. “I guess you could say I am cautiously optimistic that things are going in the right way.”
The Pats are back on the ice for a couple of morning practises on Monday before the annual Blue and White game at the Co-operators Arena at 7 PM.