RMU ACHA DI hosts prospect camp for incoming players

Audrey Gardner , Staff Writer

Prospect camps have become a popular trend for many college hockey programs and as a result, the Robert Morris ACHA DI hockey team hosted one on May 16 and 17 for new and incoming players.

The team started preparing for the camp before the season ended, garnering well over a hundred potential forwards, defensemen and goaltenders. Subsequently, the list was narrowed down to 30 names, consisting of local, national, and international prospects who flew in from Finland, Spain, and Canada.

“I think it’s pretty cool when you get international players interested in playing ACHA DI hockey for your team. You wouldn’t expect that under normal circumstances,” said head coach Mike Joseph. “I think it’s an indication of how popular hockey is here at Robert Morris and how big the hockey program is at Robert Morris and the interest we’re generating in the team right now.”

Whether the players found out about the program through the hockey world, family, or friends, the program was happy to have them.

The camp kicked off Friday night as the players arrived took the ice for 80 minutes worth for drills and skill assessments. Saturday morning started out the same followed by lunch and a chance to learn about the program and the university, as well as a scrimmage.

The players were separated into two teams, consisting of current Colonials Zach Barto, Lucas Chiala, Zach Homitz, James Joyce, Ryan Fuchs, former captain Cam Zappi, and the newcomers.

Despite a stellar turn out, none of the open roster spots have been obtained. The players will be back in the fall and join the rest of the squad for training with anticipation of having a secure place on the team.

“We’re looking to fill a lot of spots and I like to tell people we’re filling them up and down the lineup. We’re looking for first line players, we’re looking for fourth line players,” assistant coach Conrad Waite said. “What we saw on the ice was essentially a team of players in that regard.”

“There’s some guys that’ll slot in on our top couple of lines right away,” he continued. “There’s some guys that might be more project players, who many get in due to injuries, but who develop into good players if they come here and they play for four years.”