Three local teens will be hitting the ice in Thunder Bay in a few weeks to suit up for the Thunder Bay Kings ‘AAA’ Minor Midget squad this season.
Jon Carlson, Bryce Knapp and Robby Rea all made the cut during the final round of tryouts last week.
Carlson’s father, Brad, said his son put a lot of effort into preparing for this chance.
“We’re obviously very proud of him. He’s worked hard,” he remarked. “Throughout the summer he’s done a lot of dryland, and running and lifting weights and shooting pucks in the driveway.
“He’s worked very hard at it so I guess we’re proud of the effort that he’s put into it.”
Carlson will be heading to Thunder Bay at the end of August in order to attend Hammarskjold High School starting Sept. 1.
Brad Carlson said his son’s schedule promises to be very busy.
“Their schedules are pretty heavy so I don’t know how many opportunities he’ll have to come home so I think we’ll have to go visit him,” he chuckled.
“The team plays out of a Winnipeg loop so I think in total they’ve got 36 games against Winnipeg teams, so some of his games will be played there,” the elder Carlson added.
“So I guess we’re a little fortunate in that we’re kind of in the centre so we can travel to Winnipeg and to Thunder Bay, and it’s about the same distance.
“We plan on attending as many games as we can.”
The 15-year-old gave a small shrug when asked about leaving home for Thunder Bay.
“I have some really good friends here,” he remarked, then added with a grin that he has some really good friends on the team, too, including Knapp and Rea.
Rea also mentioned the benefit of going with friends.
“I feel that I have good friends so if something happens, I’ll have friends around me to help me out,” he reasoned.
“And it should be fun because I know what they’re like,” he added.
Rea said this is something he’s wanted for a long time and now that it has come, it feels good.
“I’m very excited to be playing away from Fort and playing with an excellent coach and meeting new friends, and getting ready and trying to get drafted,” he remarked.
Carlson also said he’s really looking forward to the opportunity to play against so many different teams.
“There should be some good hockey and some great experiences,” he enthused.
Brad Carlson agreed this will be a positive experience for his son and the others.
“I think that the Kings are a great organization and it’s not just about hockey,” he explained.
“It’s about, as their coach, Lonny Bohonos says, it’s about molding men as well as hockey players.”