AHL CAMPS IN FULL EFFECT
Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
by Tommy Daniels
It's what every athlete dreams of -- taking that next step in his or her career. In this case we are talking professional hockey and for twelve Allen Americans hockey players, it's game on at AHL camps all over the country.
I had the opportunity to visit Barons camp yesterday in Oklahoma City, where both Colton Yellow Horn and Trevor Hendrikx are competing for one of the few jobs open. It's a tough road for these guys, you basically get a few days to show General Managers and coaches that you belong at that level. It's an audition, in some cases, against friends or guys you've competed against since you were four years old.
The players spent the first hour divided into two groups working on various drills on the ice. Then after a short break, both squads returned for a blue white scrimmage. Yellow Horn and Henrikx were both on the blue squad, which consisted of guys mostly from the CHL and ECHL. Yellow Horn had a chance to show some of his camp teammates some of that "Colton Magic" when he scored on a penalty shot after being hauled down on an odd man rush. Trevor Hendrikx, a big kid, uses his size to his advantage and will definitely cause imposing forwards a little grief in front of the Allen net.
With eleven more players sent down yesterday from the parent club in Edmonton, the competition gets even tougher for a player at the AA level. The Barons will play an exhibition game on Friday night at home. Both Yellow Horn and Hendrikx sticking around for game action is what’s on the radar.
"The game is a half step quicker and a little more crisp," said Americans All Star forward Colton Yellow Horn. "I'm trying to show these guys I belong here and I can fit in. I know my next shift on the ice could be my last so you try to do your best and hope you stay."
Americans Associate Coach and Director of Player Personnel, Bill McDonald, was also in attendance yesterday. Macker, a great evaluator of talent, took notes and observed as the 50 plus guys gave it their all with the hopes of impressing someone in a Barons polo shirt. "I know what Yellow can do," said McDonald. "He's a talented kid and works hard on the ice. I'm also very impressed with Trevor Hendrikx. It's my first chance to see him on the ice. He's pretty solid."
"Yellow Horn has a lot of skill," said Oklahoma City Barons GM Bill Scott. "He's a smart player and he skates really well." Of Trevor Hendrikx, who played mostly in the ECHL, "he's a solid player on the back end and provides a little toughness too."
NHL teams will continue to make cuts in the coming days, so that will affect AHL rosters. For now things are going well for all twelve players. We wish them the best. I enjoyed my time at Cox Convention Center yesterday, a great building for hockey. I would highly recommend the three hour and twenty minute drive north on I-35 for a pretty good hockey experience.