Calgary, AB – The WHL announced today the rosters and staff for the 2016 WHL U.S. Combine Camp which will be held at the Anaheim Ice Facility in Anaheim, CA from April 15-17, 2016.
Powered by Under Armour, the combine marks the 11th consecutive year the WHL has hosted a camp focusing on U.S.-born prospects. The WHL U.S. Combine Camp in Anaheim will provide a unique opportunity for U.S.-born hockey players to participate with other top-ranked 2001-born players in an evaluation camp conducted by the WHL in the U.S. this season.
Four teams of U.S.-born WHL prospects will participate in a WHL Combine and team practice on Day 1 followed by a total of three games split between Days 2 and 3. All players will also have the opportunity to participate in a WHL Information Session and Under Armour Nutrition Seminar.
Luke Pierce (Head Coach, Kootenay Ice), Brent Kisio (Head Coach, Lethbridge Hurricanes), Mike Williamson (Head Coach, Tri-City Americans) and Bob Woods (Head Coach/General Manager, Saskatoon Blades) will run the benches for the Combine Camp’s four teams.
Pierce recently completed his first season as head coach of the Kootenay ICE after serving as General Manager and Head Coach of the Merritt Centennials in the BCHL. Kisio recently completed his first season as head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes after serving as an assistant coach for eight season with the Calgary Hitmen. Williamson recently completed his second season as Head Coach of the Americans, but has been a head or assistant coach in the WHL for each of the past 20 years and has earned both a MasterCard Memorial Cup and WHL Championship along the way. Woods capped off his second season at the helm of the Blades this year after he spent the previous five years as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks.
Jamie LeBlanc (Swift Current Broncos) and Colin Robinson (Kamloops Blazers) will attend the camp to provide equipment and athletic therapy services throughout while WHL Officials Bryan Bourdon and Ross Welner will also officiate the event to WHL standards.
The WHL represents the highest level of amateur hockey for junior-aged players in Canada and is a leading supplier of player talent to the National Hockey League and Canadian university hockey. Virtually all of the WHL’s 22 Member Clubs will be in attendance to evaluate players’ ability to play at the WHL level. The WHL U.S. Combine Camp also features an information session where players and their families will learn about the benefits of playing in the WHL and details on the WHL Scholarship program.
The WHL U.S. Combine Camp is open only to U.S. residents born in 2001, who live in the Western United States (including Alaska). Of the over 50 U.S.-born players currently on WHL rosters, the majority attended a WHL U.S. Prospects Camp in previous years. Former Medicine Hat Tiger and current Vancouver Canucks forward Emerson Etem took part at the WHL U.S. Combine Camp.
Players in attendance at the Camp will also be able to access results from the combine portion of the event through a database and compare their results with players in their age group as well as those currently playing at the WHL level. The testing will be conducted by Toronto-based Sport Testing Inc., a world leader in athlete testing systems.