By Rachel Williams
Try-out camps are finally underway! The coaching staff of the Johnstown Tomahawks spent the weekend in Novi, Mich., for the first of three try-out camps before the NAHL Draft on June 6. These try-out camps are a perfect opportunity for players to get noticed and show off their skills in this crucial time before the draft.
When looking for potential players, head coach Mike Letizia takes everything into consideration, not just a player’s abilities on the ice.
“What is unique about tryout camps is that players are looking to get noticed and showcase themselves individually, but in my eyes, I look for the players who are the biggest team players and show the will to win,” Letizia says. “I place a huge emphasis on what their body language is like throughout the camp and what their attitudes are like. To me, that is where guys can really lose their chance no matter how good their abilities may be. Players tend to forget that part in these camps and focus solely on themselves. The ultimate goal is to find a winning culture, and selfless players who play the right way and have great attitudes usually help teams reach that goal.”
Becoming a part of the Tomahawks family has the potential to lead to many fantastic opportunities on and off the ice. With a dedicated staff that only wants their players to succeed, they will do anything to help you reach your goals.
“If a player has the dedication required to the process to go along with the work we as a staff are willing to devote, we feel in the end, there is a great chance for a quality outcome,” Letizia explained.
There is no doubt that going through the try-out camp process is a terrific way to find a spot on the team, just look to Logan Hudson and Nick Bruce as examples! Both players got their start with the Tomahawks through try-out camps and they are making strides in their careers.
Looking at the success stories of Hudson and Bruce, it’s almost impossible not to be hopeful that others can achieve their dreams as well.
“I think anyone will be willing to attest to the impact that both young men had on our organization during their time spent with the Tomahawks,” Letizia said. “Players need to hear their story and understand the path is there, the opportunity is there, and as a player you need to take it. If Logan or Nick had been selfish, or felt entitled to something and not willing to make the necessary sacrifice it took to earn their way, then who knows what may have happened.”
Try-out camps are a fantastic way for the team to gain valuable players. They attract athletes from all over the country and the globe, giving them an opportunity that they may not have had otherwise.
While it is still early in the try-out camp process, the Tomahawks are sure that they will find some stand out players to add to the team.
The team’s camps continue with a trip to Prior Lake, Minn., for their second pre-draft camp May 28-30. Camps wrap up June 2-4 in Pittsburgh.