Sunday, May 25, 2014

There he was – Central Scouting’s #1 ranked prospect in the BCHL – Jason Cotton, all 6’2″, 190 of him – jet-speeding around the ice at the SoBe Ice Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Cotton, 19, of Plano, Texas, wore a lime-colored jersey #16. He played for the BCHL West Kelowna Warrriors last season scoring 23 goals. He was in the mix with the 60+ other skaters at the West Kelowna Las Vegas Prospect Camp at the SoBe Ice Arena and led the way. He skated hard and fast, fired off blistering passes, was the most exciting and electrifying player to hit the ice here in town all year long.

He will be a NHL draft pick, the 4th for the West Kelowna team. Earlier, Justin Schultz (Anaheim), Cam Reid (Nashville) and David Pope (Detroit) were Kelowna players who were drafted.

Earlier in the day, one of Las Vegas best players – Vito Carlo – was checked hard and went down in a morning scrimmage game.

But he sure made an impression earlier in the camp with Rylan Ferster, the head coach of the West Kelowna Warriors.

“I like the way Vito competes, the way he moves, his size. He’s the kind of player we’re looking for,” Ferster said. “He’s young (a ’98) and we’re basically looking at the 96’s in this camp. But I’m glad we got a chance to see Vito on the ice. There are a lot of players here we like. We’re going to meet with the players on Sunday and decide who will be going to our main camp.”

There were quite a few Las Vegas skaters in the camp – Joey DiBenedetto, Alec Mono, Ethan Montoya, Hamilton Whyte and goalie TJ Yocum.

Ferster said this is the first time his club has put together a prospects camp in the U.S.

It was his former player, Eddie Samuels of Las Vegas, who suggested it two years ago.

“Eddie was helping evaluate players in our camp in Canada and said why not have a big camp in Las Vegas. We had never been outside Canada before but decided Las Vegas would be an excellent central location, easily accessible for the prospects and their families. It’s been great here,” Ferster said.

The Warriors had a prospects camp on their home ice last week. This is the final prospects camp they have scheduled until the main camp gets underway.

From the Blue Line — Gage Quinney of Las Vegas and the WHL Prince Albert Raiders was at the rinkboards. He is already in a skating program getting set for the upcoming season. His report date is August 28….Brendan Harris, the Las Vegas skater who had a great season with the NAHL Wenatchee Wild this past season, is heading for the USHL Cedar Rapids Roughriders tryout camp this Thursday…Goalie Gage Roberts, one of the best in the city, will join Vito Carlo with the new West Renegades 16u club in Park City, Utah this season. Gage played in the Las Vegas Storm program….Chris Francis of the Las Vegas Wranglers took a look at the players from the bleachers…Hockey coach Rob Pallin took a look at the West Kelowna prospects camp and said “….it’s the best I’ve seen here in town.