By Mason Lyttle
It starts early tomorrow morning, with clouds of fireworks smoke still thick in the air, with goalie day. Then two grueling days of 150+ Jets prospects battling, shift after shift, scrimmage after scrimmage, all hoping to make the club’s final 23-man roster by Saturday afternoon.
On the eve of 2017 Main Camp, janesvillejets.com sat down briefly with Jets assistant coach Kyle Forte to bring you inside the process of putting together one of the most important events of the team calendar.
janesvillejets.com: For the casual fan, briefly explain what Main Camp is and how important an event it is for rostering.
Kyle Forte: Main Camp is our final camp of the summer where we select our roster for the upcoming season. This is the pinnacle of our scouting season. All year, we watch kids in AAA, high school, Tier III, international, you name it, we’re there to find the next Jet. This is when we bring all of those recruits that we have built relationships with during the season to compete to make our final 23-man roster.
JJ: As succinctly as you can, describe your role in putting together this camp.
KF: I work with our scouts to build our recruitment class throughout the season, and then select players to attend our camp based on our roster needs for the upcoming season.
JJ: Thinking back to last year’s camp, your first with the team, were there any Jets roster players who really impressed you in Main Camp?
KF: One in particular would be TJ Polglaze, the Beloit kid. TJ took major strides in his game this past year earning his role on the team. His work ethic and leadership should be an example for any player entering the league.
JJ: What would you say to fans who are thinking about coming down to watch some of the games?
KF: Main Camp is an exciting part of the process of building our program every year. Not only do we get to see kids compete for roster spots this upcoming season, but we also get the opportunity to build relationships with future prospects as well. We will actually have two All-Star games this year. The first game will be our Young Guns All-Star game, which is where we will see 40 of our top young prospects compete. These prospects are players we are looking to potentially affiliate with our program next year, so you might read some of these names in tender reports or at the NAHL Draft. The second game is our All-Star game where our top 40 prospects from this past year of recruiting will compete for roster spots for the 17-18 season.
Our Main Camp is open to the public and free of charge. Select game-worn jerseys from the 2016-17 season will be on sale, as well as brand new, custom-ordered Jets merchandise. Janesville Youth Hockey will operate concessions, and Rock County Brewing Company will be selling a limited selection of their craft beers from 3pm to 7pm on both Thursday and Friday.
See below for a full schedule.
Wednesday July 5th (Goalies Only)
11:00am – 12:00pm (Goalie Group 1)
12:15pm – 1:15pm (Goalie Group 2)
5:00pm – 6:00pm (Goalie Group 1)
6:15pm – 7:15pm (Goalie Group 2)
Thursday July 6th
10:30am – 11:30am (Goalie Group 1)
11:45am – 12:45pm (Goalie Group 2)
1:30pm – 3:00pm (Red vs Navy)
3:00pm – 4:30pm (White vs Purple)
4:30pm – 6:00pm (Gray vs Green)
6:00pm – 7:30pm (Orange vs Dark Blue)
7:30pm – 9:00pm (Yellow vs Dark Green)
Friday July 7th
9:00am – 10:30am (Red vs Purple)
10:30am – 12:00pm (White vs Green)
12:00pm – 1:30pm (Gray vs Dark Blue)
1:30pm – 3:00pm (Orange vs Dark Green)
3:00pm – 4:30pm (Yellow vs Navy)
5:30pm – 6:15pm (Red vs Green)
6:15pm – 7:00pm ( White vs Dark Blue)
7:00pm – 7:45pm (Gray vs Dark Green)
7:45pm – 8:30pm (Orange vs Navy)
8:30pm – 9:15pm (Yellow vs Purple)
All-Star Rosters will be posted in rink & hotel lobbies @ 10:00pm
Saturday July 8th
9:00am – 11:00am (Young Guns All-Star Game)
11:15am – 1:15pm (All-Star Game)