Lakers hoping for good prospects camp

Jamie Mountain

With another SIJHL season officially in the books, the Fort Frances Lakers’ organization has its sight set squarely on the future.

The Lakers announced last week the date for their annual prospects camp, this year slated for July 26-28 at Bronco Arena in International Falls.

Open to players born between 1999-2003, Lakers’ head coach/general manager Wayne Strachan is hopeful that 40 players will participate in the camp–four goalies, 12 defencemen, and 24 forwards.

“We will be looking to identify players that want to be hockey players–not just play hockey,” said Strachan.

“Guys that have good character, are willing to buy into the culture of the team, work on their development, and be a team first guy,” he explained.

“Through camp, we will look for guys who have a solid work ethic and show they have worked hard to prepare for next season. We want to play fast, with and without the puck, and [we want] players that can play a solid 200-foot game.”

It is the objective of the Lakers’ hockey family to provide each athlete with an elite hockey development experience, with a strong emphasis on positive citizenship and education.

The organization wants to see positive life experiences and help create opportunities for young athletes to meet their goals.

Its vision is to create an environment that inspires trust and confidence among its board, coaches, athletes, fans, and sponsors in order to bring a top brand of hockey to our area.

The Lakers have a long-standing tradition of commitment to excellence and developing players for the next level. Their coaching staff and program has graduates in the AHL, ECHL, SPHL, Europe, CHL, CIS, NCAA DI and DIII, ACAC and BCIHL.

The coaching staff is committed to ensure you are supported and encouraged while you aspire to develop your skills in the Lakers’ program.

Inherent in the development of a hockey player is the understanding that each individual also grows as a person.

The Lakers compete to play in the Dudley-Hewitt Cup by winning the SIJHL’s Bill Salonen Cup and a possible berth in the Canadian Junior ‘A’ National Championship.

The Lakers’ program won three-straight SIJHL Championships from 2014-2016 and also were Dudley-Hewitt Cup Finalists in 2015.

As a Laker, you will be expected to continue this winning tradition as expectations are always high each season.

The Fort Frances Lakers players are expected to be positive role models and have a high character standing within the community.

The players will often be asked to attend functions and represent the team at schools and fundraising events.

As a player of the Lakers’ family, you are expected to exemplify responsible demeanor at all times on and off the ice.

The team is only as good as the collective and committed efforts of each individual on the team.
Strachan noted that at the start of camp, the coaching staff will address the team’s needs in the team meeting and then play four games throughout the weekend to give the players a chance to showcase themselves.

What are some of the benefits to running the prospects camp?

“To me, it shows guys who are hungry to become a Laker player and guys that are willing to come out and compete at a high intensity,” Strachan noted.

“It gives the staff an early look at who may be a prospect to make the team this year, or further down the road.”

To sign up for the camp, or for more information, visit or by contacting Strachan via e-mail at