Stampede GM / Coach Mike Beavis spent the past few days in Pittsburgh, PA. Attending the America's Showcase held at the RMU Island Sports Complex, scouting the talent that is available for this years NA3HL Draft that will be held on June 14th.
While attending the showcase Coach Beavis had the opportunity to spend some time with a former player. Gentry Zollars, who played for Coach Beavis in the OPJHL (OJHL). Zollars has spent the past 7 seasons in the ECHL, currently with the Fort Wayne Komets. "It was a huge surprise when Gents texted me and asked if I was in Pittsburgh… For him to take time out to come and visit is one of the reasons that I do what I do." Zollars caught up with Coach Beavis and spent a few hours at RMU catching up on things as well as talking to a few players from the Pittsburgh area that may have some interest in the Stampede going forward. "Gents is a great guy with a solid work ethic and has done very well for himself to this point. He still has some decent options to continue playing at the pro level but is also looking to help some younger guy's get ready to move on to their next level of play in the off season." added Beavis.
Over the three days the staff spent at RMU they were able to watch quite a few players and had the opportunity to meet several coaches and players throughout the event. "I had the pleasure of meeting with several coaches from all the top tier lll leagues during the event as well as some of our new partners in the NAHL and NA3HL. It was great to interact with guys that I have known for years as well as some that I met the past few days." Beavis also spoke about meeting a few former pro players that are now giving back to hockey, coaching and running organizations such as Peter Worrell with the Florida team in the showcase and Jason McCrimmon with Motor City in the USPHL. "It's nice to see guy's giving back and get to speak with them about shared values, Peter is still in it for all the right reasons and Jason and I spoke freely and tossed out league barrier issues knowing that we are just hockey guy's at the end of the day." Beavis also spent a great deal of time with Wooster Oilers (NA3HL) GM / Coach Valentino Hernandez talking about players and the direction of hockey as they saw it from a coaching standpoint. "It was nice to spend time with another program in the NA3HL and get a viewpoint from their program and a different location in the country." stated Beavis.
Over the three days coach Beavis was quoted as saying he spoke with well over fifty players and shared information on the Stampede program as well as the NA3HL with them and has high hopes that there will be several new faces in Syracuse this upcoming season. "it's crazy but you talk to players from all over the world and it seems that many of the guys from the east look at leagues located in our demographics as where they have to play but when you move a bit past Western NY. The players are all looking to try and play in the USHL, NAHL or NA3HL." stated Beavis When asked if there were any players that the Stampede have committed to over the weekend. Beavis smiled and said he would for sure let everyone know who and when players will be joining the Stampede as he did not want to jump the gun and tip his hat on the players that he is working with to join the Stampede for 2016-2017. He did say however that there were several players that are showing interest and it looks like this seasons team may be shaping up just fine for the Stampede.
The Stampede will next attend Pre- Draft in May, looking to get a first look at a couple of European players of interest before heading over to Stockholm, Sweden in June to attend the USHL-College Showcase. The Stampede will be holding tryouts on May 14th and 15th at the "Ice-Plex" on the campus of Morrisville State College. This tryout is scheduled as a Pre-Draft tryout. Please register on our web site for this event. Space is limited for the two day tryout.