Youngstown, OH (WKBN)- The sounds of slap shots and bone crushing checks may not be the sounds of summer you are accustomed to, but for a team coming off a 17-36-6 season, summer camps are needed.
“Without a doubt it starts now, it is not something that starts in training camp,” says Youngstown Phantoms Head Coach Anthony Noreen.
“We talked to our returning players about that and our draft picks about that. This season starts now.”
The Phantoms are heading into next season with many new faces. Earlier this year the team announced former Pittsburgh Penguin Troy Loney would join the team as a co-owner. On the ice, over a dozen players were drafted by the Phantoms in the USHL draft, and at this weekends tryout, they, along with current players and free agents looking for a home took to the ice for their tryout camp.
“I was pretty excited, I got to learn about the organization, I did not know much about the USHL being from Canada and playing in the OJ,” said Phantoms 4th-round pick Matthew Alvaro.
“But getting to know the coaches and stuff like that, and the level of play is high so I could not be more excited being drafted by Youngstown.”
“Meet up with the guys and be a part of the team and prove what I have to offer to the team and show the coaches what I can do,” says Lukas Craggs
And they hope Lukas Craggs has a lot to offer. After all they did select him 2nd overall in Phase Two of the USHL Draft. Craggs is a 5-11 center that can not only score, but throw his body around. Something the team expects him to do at the Covelli Center later this season.
“Yea I feel a lot of pressure but I like having pressure, it pushes me a lot harder than normal, so it will be good.”
Entering the camp 48 goalies and 120 skaters came to the Ice Zone hoping to make the team. That number has already been cut down, and when the season starts, 23 skaters will be on the roster, all hoping to put Phantoms hockey back on the map.
“Clearly not the season we wanted last year. I think it has been a long time waiting for this, I know it has been for me been. Now it is a fresh page,” says Noreen
The Phantoms will be back in Youngstown for training camp in August.