Depending on how one looks at it, you can envy or pity Scott Robinson and the task that lies ahead over the coming days.
With over 200 kids to pick from during three Dawson Creek Rage spring camps, the coach of the new Jr. A team has his work cut out for him as he pieces together a team to represent the city in the North American Hockey League this September.
It's not bad if one enjoys being a hockey mastermind and pulling together a team from scratch as Robinson is. But it won't be easy.
"We are pretty happy where we are today, but certainly this weekend will help us make some more decisions and just plot our course for the summer and leading into the main camp in August," said Robinson, who is also the team's general manager.
The Dawson Creek Rage has held two camps, in Princeton and Abbotsford, and opens its final spring camp in Dawson Creek today at 4 p.m. when there will be skills sessions and a brief scrimmage. There will be inter-squad games all day Saturday and the camp finishes Sunday with an all-star game.
"It is basically our job to evaluate through the course of Friday and Saturday to get down to those best 30-plus players and have them go through it and see who does the best in that scenario when it does get better and faster," explained Robinson.
"There is a little bit of a progression through the camp and what typically happens when you do the all-star game is the level of play goes up and it becomes a better evaluation."
Sunday's all-star game is at 2:30 p.m. and is open to the public. There's no charge and all are welcome.
Robinson expects there will be about 80 kids at the three-day camp at the EnCana Events Centre. They are coming from all over B.C., but he's also expecting a handful from as far away as Minnesota, California and Ontario.
"This league is a North American-wide deal. We have hundreds of emails from kids all over the U.S and Canada. It is that big of a scouting areaand there will be at least half a dozen U.S. kids here this weekend.
"A lot of the U.S, kids want that experience in Canada. It's kind of neat, but they have to measure up like anyone else. There are a lot of players looking for places to play, and it is up to us to sort them out."
Robinson has also had interest from many locals looking to catch on with the team. While some local flavour may draw a few more fans, those kids will be treated just like any other player, said Robinson, adding he wants to make Dawson Creek a destination for skilled northern players.
"We want to encourage growth in the grassroots hockey and help the Jr. B team and help the Tracker program and help the midget team in Prince George and try and become a destination for the northern kids."