Grizzlies a team of cubs

Veterans offer advice to junior A rookies

Returning Victoria Grizzlies regulars Sean Robertson and Wade Murphy say up-and-coming rookies need to show confidence and game sense to make the cut in junior A.

In five years of junior A hockey Sean Robertson has gone from cub to grizzled Grizzly.

Robertson, 20, has played defence for the Victoria Grizzlies since 2006-07 and has seen a lot of rookies come and go.

His advice to newbies: play hard and don’t back down to the veterans.

“Rookies need to be confident. It’s OK to be nervous, but you don’t want to be too nervous,” Robertson said. “It’s a big jump from playing minor hockey to junior hockey. I have seen a lot of guys come through here. You can’t be selfish. It’s better hockey if you put the team ahead of you.”

With the hockey season about to start, there are many hopefuls waiting to don the Grizzlies’ jersey. Sam McMullen from Saanich is one of them. Before junior, McMullen spent a season with the South Island Thunderbirds major midget team.

Last year McMullen, 17, played for the junior B Saanich Braves, but also hit the ice for five games with the Grizzlies.

“By the second or third game I started getting used to the speed,” McMullen said.

“Junior A (players) are stronger and faster.”

Since then, McMullen has been working hard over the summer to secure a spot on the roster. He’s packed on 10 pounds of muscle to his six-foot tall frame, and his added strength has been noticeable on the ice.

“Making the Grizzlies would be great. It’s what I have been wanting to do the whole summer,” McMullen said.

Grizzlies assistant coach Victor Gervais said McMullen has a good chance of having his name added to the roster.

“He is probably one of the best rookie players,” Gervais said. “He is a two-way hockey player.”

Grizzlies hopeful Sam Ramsay travelled to Victoria from Surrey for the rookie camp, having played midget-AAA hockey in Swift Current, Sask., last season.

“He brings a lot of speed,” Gervais said. “He brings grit to the game that I haven’t seen in a long time. He’s tough and finishes his checks.”

During the camp Ramsay, a left-winger said the level of skill was a step up from midget hockey.

“It’s a lot more speed and intensity.”

Whether or not he cracks the Grizzlies’ main roster Ramsay is committed to moving to the Island as he is assured a spot on the Saanich Braves this year, just like McMullen and Wade Murphy before him.

Braves coach Brad Cook was an assistant with the Grizzlies when Ramsay broke out at the March prospects camp.

“For the most part players were going through their paces and all of a sudden there’s this kid absolutely destroying people out there,” Cook said.

“(Ramsay) needs some coaching, but does a lot of things you can’t teach. He’s a fun player to watch and is going to be a fun player to coach.”

While these players have skill and dedication the Grizzlies looking for, rookies for the upcoming season have not been selected yet.

Gervais said between five and 10 rookies could earn a coveted spot on the roster.

sports@goldstreamgazette.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Loss of UVic dog park deals a blow to socially anxious pets

Owners of non-socialized dogs seek safe space following closure of Cedar Hill Corner

Residents around Sidney’s Reay Creek Pond welcome federal remediation efforts

It is not clear yet whether Sidney will renovate nearby dam at the same time

Public to weigh in on Colwood Royal Bay development Monday

Application to rezone lands north of Latoria Boulevard submitted to council

Camp fun still offered in Greater Victoria

Easter Seals offers day camp options to replace cancelled overnight camps

Swim advisory issued at Cadboro Bay beach due to high bacteria levels

Island Health advises against water activities, swimming

VIDEO: Langford cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read