PRIOR LAKE, Minn. – As the Odessa Jackalopes wrapped up their main tryout camp Sunday in Prior Lake, Minn., head coach Paul Gillis came away with a better understanding of which players are headed for the team’s first roster as a member of the North American Hockey League.
The Jackalopes coaching staff ran 55 players through drills and scrimmages during the 4-day camp, giving Gillis and Asst. Coach Matt Cressman an idea of which players will be heading to Odessa for the opening of training camp on Aug. 22.
“I think we had a strong group of goaltenders, our corps of defensemen was OK, but we’re still looking for a few more dynamic forwards up front,” Gillis said after Sunday’s final game. “Being our first year in this league, there’s still a learning curve for our staff, but the players who were at camp played with a lot of energy and it means a lot to them to make this team. I think our fans in the Permian Basin will attach themselves to this brand of hockey. It’s fun to watch.”
The Jackalopes, which purchased the Owatonna (Minn.) Express and relocated the team to Odessa for the upcoming season, inherited a group of returning players eligible for the 2011-12 roster. Among them were forwards T.J. Sennott, Sheldon Taylor, Lawrence Cornelier, Schyler Adams and Willie Faust. Defensemen included Bryan Mitchell and Jordan Kresbach, while eligible defenseman Brandon Carney recently announced he would be attending Michigan State this fall.
Also participating in the camp was Odessa native Jonathan Voyles, who was selected to play in Sunday’s final game.
“Jonathan has his work cut out for him, but he had a good camp and made it to Sunday’s game on merit – not because he’s from Odessa,” Gillis said. “We have to select players who will have an impact and help us win games. This is an important year for us with the transition we’re making.”
Also selected to Sunday’s finale were Dallas natives Marcus Ortiz and Mike Taylor, both forwards, as well as tendered/drafted players Garrett Van Tuyl, Will Quillman, Curt Rau, Chris Benoit and Hiio Herne (see full roster).
For Sunday’s final game, Gillis and his staff trimmed the camp down to 30 players plus goaltenders. This week, the Jackalopes will decide on the final group of players who start training camp at the Music City Mall on Aug. 22. “Not all of the players who played in Sunday’s game will be invited to our camp later this month,” Gillis said. “We have some tough decisions to make.”
For Sunday’s final game, Gillis and his staff trimmed the camp down to 30 players plus goaltenders. Along with Gillis and Cressman, scouting the camp were owners Rick Gasser and Bill & Tracey Nyborg, GM Joe Clark, Director of Scouting Craig Sarner and scout Scott Lock.
The Jackalopes open their regular season at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minn., from Sept. 14-17, and play their first home game Sept. 30 against the Corpus Christi Ice Rays.
ODESSA JACKALOPES 2011-2012 MAIN CAMP ROSTERS
# POS Player DOB Hometown 2010-11 Team
5 G Saxton Soley 5/10/93 Elk Mound, WI Eau Claire (WI) Memorial HS
6 G Justin Davis 1/18/93 St. Louis, MO St. Louis Jr. Blues (NAHL)_____
2 D Bryan Mitchell 2/12/91 Red Wing, MN Owatonna Express (NAHL)
3 D Will Quillman 6/28/93 Dardenne, MO St. Louis Jr. Blues (NAHL)
4 D Jared Docken 9/11/92 Northfield, MN Northfield (MN) HS
5 D Matt Petersen 4/15/92 Center City, MN Granite City (NA3HL)
6 D Curt Rau 10/24/92 Eden Prairie, MN Eden Prairie (MN) HS_________
8 F Lawrence Cornellier 7/15/92 Machesney Park, IL Owatonna Express (NAHL)
9 F Jalen Krogman 11/29/92 St. Charles, MO St. Louis Selects (Tier 1 AAA)
10 F Garrett Van Tuyl 10/19/92 Champlin, MN Champlin Park (MN) HS
11 F Marcus Ortiz 10/27/92 Garland, TX Dallas Stars Elite (Tier 1 AAA)
12 F Hiio Herne 5/18/92 Akwesasne, NY Akwesasne
13 F Darren Lapic 7/14/92 New Prague, MN Owatonna Express (NAHL)
14 F Jacob Brown 3/21/93 Bossier City, LA Dallas Oilers (Midget)
15 F Mike Taylor 11/4/93 Colleyville, TX Dallas Stars Elite (Tier 1 AAA)
16 F Mike Katchmark 7/1/93 Elk River, MN Elk River (MN) HS
# POS Player DOB Hometown 2010-11 Team
1 G Hugo Oftedal 7/18/92 Djursholm, Sweden Huddinge J20 (SWE SuperElit)
4 G Connor Hellebuyck 5/19/93 Commerce, MI Team Michigan (HS All Stars)___
2 D John Follmer 8/20/93 O’Fallon, MO St. Louis Selects (Tier 1 AAA)
3 D Aditya Karandikar 1/19/94 Neenah, WI Neenah (WI) HS
4 D Jordan Kresbach 9/22/91 Virginia, MN Owatonna Express (NAHL)
5 D Blayne Ellson 7/29/92 Lino Lakes, MN Centennial (MN) HS
6 D Taylor Fleming 2/17/93 Waconia, MN St. Thomas Academy (MN)
7 D Austin Ho 2/23/94 Chino Hills, CA LA Selects (Tier 1 AAA)_______
8 F Ryan Atkinson 1/27/93 Vacaville, CA SJ Jr. Sharks (Tier 1 AAA)
9 F TJ Sennot 2/28/92 Naperville, IL Owatonna Express (NAHL)
10 F Willie Faust 12/29/91 Stillwater, MN Owatonna Express (NAHL)
11 F Ryan Webber 5/26/94 American Canyon, CA San Jose Jr. Sharks (Tier 1 AAA)
12 F Alex Ostrowski 2/18/92 Grand Rapids, MI Little Caesar’s U18 (Tier 1 AAA)
13 F Matt Uvodich 1/19/91 Overland Park, KS New Mexico Renegades (WSHL)
14 F Chris Benoit 3/29/92 Woodside, CA San Jose Jr. Sharks (Tier 1 AAA)
15 F Sheldon Taylor 1/21/91 Grosse Isle, MI Owatonna Express (NAHL)
16 F John Voyles 5/13/92 Midland, TX New Mexico Renegades (WSHL)