Off-Season 101: The Final Camp
Welcome back, class! Earlier we covered the Pre-Draft Camp and the NAHL Entry Draft as essential components of a franchise’s off-season. Today we take a look at the third step on the path to the 2013-2014 season: The Final Camp.
The RoadRunners Final Camp takes place July 11th-14th at Seven bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge, IL. Approximately 25 miles outside of Chicago, Seven Bridges is an impressive sports complex featuring an NHL rink, an Olympic rink, and an artificial turf field on the second floor. A restaurant and lounge overlooks both rinks; and it is from there that the scouts, evaluators, and stat keepers do their work.
Goalies are the first to report, checking in on Thursday morning with the entire day’s session dedicated to their evaluation. Forwards and Defensemen join the show on Friday and then the games begin. Over the course of the weekend, players will benefit from coaching seminars and off-ice training in-between opportunities to prove themselves on the ice.
Like the Pre-Draft Camp, the Final Camp is open to anyone who wants to tryout. Unlike the Pre-Draft Camp, returning veterans, tenders, and draft picks are expected to attend. It is from this list of returners, draft picks, tenders, and players who proved themselves at previous camps, that the RoadRunners will create a depth chart that will decide who will be invited to Topeka to battle for the final roster spots. The NAHL allows for 25 roster spots until October 1st at which point the limit must be trimmed to 23.
Next week, Off-Season 101 illuminates the process of building the support structure the team will need throughout the season.