Jacks Roster Takes Shape at 2012 Main Camp



July 30, 2012



Over 70 skaters from around the world take part in three-day tryout camp in Dallas area.


GRAPEVINE, TX– In an event that officially signaled the start of year two in the North American Hockey League for the Odessa Jackalopes, over 70 skaters and goaltenders participated in the Jackalopes’ 2012 Main Tryout Camp, from July 26th to 29th at the Polar Ice House in Grapevine, TX.

Over the course of eight regulation games spread throughout four full days of on-ice sessions and a Sunday morning game featuring the top 40 players in camp, Odessa coaches, scouts, team executives and staff evaluated a diverse group of players that featured a dozen returning members of the Jacks’ 2011-12 roster and a host of players from as far off as Hungary and the Czech Republic.

For Odessa Head Coach Paul Gillis, the vast array of talent at 2012’s Main Camp was a promising sight. “I think camp went very well,” said Gillis Monday, “We had much more talent and much more depth this year, but that said, we’ve still got much more work to do…we’re going to continue to fill the gaps that we have, so our work is just beginning.”

In addition to the dozens of new faces, Odessa’s 2012 Main Camp provided Gillis and Assistant Coach Matt Cressman their first opportunity since the end of the 2011-12 season to evaluate a deep crop of returning players. “I thought all the returning players looked good,” said Gillis, “You could see that they learned a lot through their first year with us…I thought it was really positive to see.”

For many returning players, Main Camp was the first chance since the end of the season to reconnect with their teammates and coaches from a year ago. For veteran winger Ryan Doucet, camp was a welcome return to a hockey frame of mind. “It was a good feeling getting to see all your old teammates,” said Doucet Monday, “You get that feeling that the season is starting up again and I’m just excited.”

Doucet, who recently committed to play Division 1 college hockey for the Air Force Falcons starting in 2013-14, says the Jackalopes’ 2012 camp featured a number of quality newcomers. “Camp was very high paced…there were 23 or 24 good forwards out there that had a great shot at making the team,” said Doucet, “From a returning player’s perspective, I think our team has a lot of potential to go far this year.”

With the start of the 2012-13 NAHL regular season looming in mid-September at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota, the next step for Odessa coaches and players is training camp, slated to begin August 27th in Odessa. Between now and then, Gillis, Cressman and Jackalopes Scouting Director Craig Sarner will whittle the roster down to 30 names, with 23 players ending up on the official roster by the start of the 2012-13 campaign.

In 2012-13, the Odessa Jackalopes drop the puck on their second season as a member of the North American Hockey League. Season ticket packages for the Jacks’ sophomore campaign are available now starting at just $179. To reserve your seats, contact the Jackalopes’ ticket office today at 432-552-7825 or log on to www.jackalopes.org for more information.

Be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter @LetsGoJacks all season long and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the official “Odessa Jackalopes” fan page on Facebook.