Ready...set...go!

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40.

That's the number of players that will participate in Kelowna Rockets main camp this week at Prospera Place.

On-ice sessions begin tomorrow as those 40 players are split into two teams.

Training camp is always interesting. What can we expect? 

Let's look at the goaltenders today.

Five players will be vying for just two spots with 20 year-old Cole Schwebius returning with the most game experience.

Used as primarily a back-up to starter Roman Basran after being acquired in a trade with the Seattle Thunderbirds, it is now or never for the Kelowna resident to show he is worthy of being a number one goalie at the WHL level.

If you missed it, Basran was released this summer and was immediately listed by the Everett Silvertips.

Arguably the best interview on the team, Schwebius played in 9 games last season, posting a 5 and 3 record with a goals against average of 3.11. His save percentage will need to improve if he wants to be a starter, with a career .892 in 47 appearances. 

Also competing for a job at training camp is Cole Tisdale.

Tisdale is now 19, but made a name for himself as an emergency call up at 15 when he played five games during the 2017-2018 season. Since then he has spent the majority of the past two seasons in the AJHL. Tisdale is a 8th round bantam pick.

Nicholas Cristiano is back. Who? You may or may not remember him from the abbreviated season. He was one of three goaltenders on the roster and saw action in just one game. It was a nice debut for the listed goalie, a 31 save performance against the Victoria Royals in a 5-1 win. 

The two rookie goalies attending camp are Justin Dueck and Alex Scheiwiller. Dueck is 18 while Scheiwiller is wet behind the ears at only 16. Dueck, from Waldeck, Saskatchewan was a 10th round bantam pick in 2018 while Scheiwiller was chosen in the 7th rounder in 2020.

In my humble opinion, the starting role in 2021-2022 is up for grabs. No one is a lock. 

 

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