NANAIMO – The Clippers Spring Camp has taken over Frank Crane Arena this weekend with just over 100 players in attendance.
Those players include ten from Nanaimo and over 40 from Vancouver Island.
Friday was a day of ice sessions, Saturday is about scrimmages, and Sunday will see the camp conclude with playoff style games in the 'Clipper Cup'.
The goals for the players are quite different.
For younger talent it's a chance to get on the ice with high level players to get exposed to what Junior A hockey is going to be like.
Those who are older are looking to get an invite to Clippers main camp in August and ideally make Nanaimo's opening day roster in September.
The Clipper coaches have sprinkled in a few of their returning veteran players to help them gauge how the new players stack up.
Already this spring the Clippers have held spring camps in Delta and Sicamous – and it's paid dividends.
The team has committed to BCMML forward Brandon Buhr who was at the Delta camp, and is on the ice this weekend in Nanaimo as well.
The focus is about the emerging talent on the ice but Clippers Director of Business Operations Tali Campbell points out there is an economic spinoff for the community as well.
With upwards of 50 players and their families in Nanaimo for three days there's a direct benefit to local hotels, restaurants and other businesses.
For the Clipper coaches this weekend is one of many offseason opportunities to evaluate talent as they continue their search for the best possible Junior A talent they can find.
Nanaimo will return a very strong core for 2019-2010 and with the right additions this off season they'll be able to compete for an Island Division title.
On twitter: @danmarshall77
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