The Haliburton County Huskies will hold their inaugural tryout hockey camp at the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena this coming Aug. 27-29.

The ice is in and team head coach and general manager Ryan Ramsay said the squad is looking to sign four players from the weekend camp.

There will be goalie evaluations Aug. 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. and the forwards and defence will have an opportunity to show if they belong in the Ontario Junior Hockey League on Aug. 28 and Aug. 29.

Ramsay said he is looking to find one defenceman and three forwards.

“The OJHL is a fast league so they have to be able to skate,” he said of prospects, adding he is looking for a compete level and some urgency in the players’ games. He said top prospects tend to stick out at camp.

The Huskies got to evaluate their current roster during a tournament in Toronto the Aug. 20-22 weekend.

Ramsay said they played in seven shortened games, losing in the final, with “a lot of good positives we took out of the weekend.” He said part of the reason they went was to get their game timing after a COVID-impacted couple of seasons.

“It takes some time to get your timing back so that’s why we put a team in the tourney.”

The team will soon begin a month-long training camp. Players are to report to their billet families Sept. 5. Ramsay said they have about a 50 per cent player turnover from the Whitby Fury team that has now moved to Minden.

The squad also picked up goalie Nicolas Heinzle in a trade. Ramsay said the 19-yearold played last weekend for the first time in a Huskies jersey and “looked really good.”

The team has also gotten some of its players back that were loaned to other teams when the OHJL was shut down due to the pandemic.

“They’re back. Two defencemen and a forward. We’re happy. We’re excited to see their progress and how far they’ve come,” the coach and GM said. They will also be looking to some affiliate players to round out the roster.

Ramsay said renovations of the former Scout Hall at the arena to give the team its own dressing room, lounge, training rooms, officers and showers are underway.

“They are coming along nicely. We got really lucky with a local contractor, Tom Neville, who has really helped us out. Time is of the essence with players coming next week and he says he will have it done by next week.”

There will be a blue versus white game Sept. 11; a preseason clash with the Aurora Tigers Aug. 18 and a game against Collingwood Sept. 25.

The OJHL has also released the regular season schedule for the 2021-22 season. It will see the Huskies play 27 home games and 27 on the road. The season opener is Oct. 1 on the road in Lindsay. The squad will debut in Minden Oct. 2 against the Muskies. The season finale is slated for March 5 at home versus Trenton.

Ramsay said he is pleased with the schedule, which includes an early New Year’s Eve game and a Family Day clash.

He said season ticket sales are going well and added they will be working with the HKPR district health unit on capacity for the arena during COVID as well as vaccine requirements for entry.

He also plugged for area families looking to billet a player. He said they still need three homes for players that are coming soon. Billet families receive financial compensations, do not have to supply transportation and are given regular season and playoff tickets.

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