Regina Pats begin training camp Thursday

The Regina Pats begin training camp for another season Thursday at the Brandt Centre.

15 and 16 year-old’s check in Thursday at camp and will participate in some off-ice work-outs before hitting the ice, while the veterans will hit the ice right away Thursday night after arriving Wednesday.

Head Coach Dave Struch said he’s expecting a different year than last year.

“We’ve got a lot of guys coming back, expectations are higher, standards are raised and we’re going to talk a lot more about winning hockey games, and I think that we’ve started that with training camp,” Struch said. “We had our old guys come in before the rookies this year, they did their medicals, fitness testing is already done, they’re ready for the ice.”

Struch said whether this will be the first or last WHL training camp for the players, work ethic will be a must for all.

“The message to our veterans is that ‘obviously you have earned the right to be a veteran, but there still is the opportunity for these young guys to make the team, and what you do from this point forward daily is very important for you to stay on this team,’” Struch said. “We want to win hockey games, and we’re going to pick the best players possible to do that.”

Struch said there will be some 16 year-old’s in rookie camp vying for spots this weekend.

“It’s hard to do that at the Western Hockey League level, but we want those guys to compete, and obviously there’s a lot of 17 year-old’s that have come that are all going to get a good opportunity and a good look from us to make this team,” Struch said. “In the build of an organization, the better your young group is, the better the future so hopefully those younger guys can challenge our old guys for positions.”

The annual Blue and White game is slated for Monday. The first Pats preseason game is Tuesday, as the team visits Moose Jaw.

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