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“We’re very optimistic” Cougars training camp wraps up

The future looks bright for the Prince George Cougars.

On the final day of this year’s training camp yesterday (Sunday), Cougars Head Coach and GM Mark Lamb had some high praise for the Cats’ latest draft class.

“They’ve showed very well, you go right to our first-rounder [Carson] Carels, he’s played very well, he’s looked like a veteran out there, very poised and very smooth,” Lamb said.

“I could go down the list of all the rest of the guys, but the whole group has fared very well. They can’t make the team this year, but the potential for next year is very positive.”

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The Cougars will have a few roster spots up for grabs this season with the departure of last year’s ’02 class, as well as Blake Eastman and Fischer O’Brien.

“There’s a lot of competition, and we do have a lot of returning guys, but the competition from the younger group is something you want to see,” Lamb said.

“Jett Lajoie, Hunter Laing, he got injured but he had an excellent camp, [Aiden] Foster has come to make the team how he’s been out there playing physical, playing smart with the puck, a couple of the other young D are playing very well. I could go on and on, and when you look at the camp as a whole, it’s very positive.”

One new face at camp this year was 19-year-old Oren Shtrom, who, along with a pair of draft picks, was acquired from from the Everett Silvertips in exchange for local product Caden Brown.

“He’s an interesting player, we got in the process of trading Brown, we wanted to bring a player back that could help our team,” Lamb said.

“He’s got a lot of skill, real good character, the hub year he got Rookie of the Year on that side, but he got into some injury problems. It’s a new team for him, he’s excited to be here and we’re excited to have him.”

Lamb said the team is very optimistic about the upcoming season.

“We know the window that we’re in, but you got to do things right, you can’t get too far ahead of yourself, if you get too far ahead of yourself, bad things will happen,” he said.

“There’s still a process here, you got to get in, you got to get through training camp, you got to get healthy, you got to see where everyone’s going to fit, and you got to get your team in the right attitude, and the right attitude is a winning attitude.”

On the ice, Team Hamhuis took the 7-4 win in the annual intrasquad game to claim the Rob Charney Cup.

Terik Parascak and Jett Lajoie led the way for Team Hamhuis, each picking up a pair of goals.

Riley Heidt and Keaton Dowhaniuk were given the Mountain Lion Fitness award for being the best in shape at camp.

The Cats will play four preseason games on the road before opening their regular season at home against the Tri-City Americans on September 22nd.

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