Cats prospect enjoys P.G. look-over

Tyler Ho succeeded in making an impression on his future Prince George teams.

Ho, a 15-year-old five-foot-11, 185-pound right-winger from North Vancouver was selected by the Prince George Cougars in the third round, 65th overall in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft in May.

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But before he steps on the ice with the big Cats, he'll spend this

season with the Cariboo Cougars who compete in the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League.

Ho spent the weekend in Prince George at the midget Cougars summer

evaluation camp at the Coliseum and loved every minute of it.

"It's

awesome, I love the city. It's a good

beautiful place," said Ho, who helped the North Shore Winter Club win the 2015 Western Canadian Bantam triple-A championship title last season. "This camp has been a lot of fun.

There are hard-working players here who stick up for their teammates."

In 64 games with the NSWC bantams, he tallied 30 goals and added 57 assists for 87 points to go along with 37 penalty minutes.

His North Shore teammate defenceman Jonas Harkins was taken by the Cougars in the second round of the bantam draft.

Harkins, whose dad Todd is the Cougars general manager, told Ho about the support from the community he'd receive.

"Jonas told me that everyone comes here to support the team.

"Obviously I'm happy being drafted by the Cougars. This summer I worked on trying to get bigger and worked on my speed to get faster."

Along with Jonas and Ho, around 120 midget-aged prospects participated in the three-day camp that wrapped up Sunday.

Other Cougars prospects included five-foot-11, 186 pound defenceman Zach Minaker from Kitimat, who was there along with midget Cougars prospect defencemen Chris Jandric (the younger brother of Cariboo Cougars forward Steven) and Jeremy Gervais who patrolled the blue line last season for the Coast Inn of the North Tier 1 midget Cougars.

Ty Kolle, a 15-year-old forward from Quesnel who was the Portland Winterhawks first selection in the fourth round of the 2015 WHL bantam draft will also suit up for the midget Cougars next season.

Kolle spent last season with the Okanagan Hockey Academy.

And if the players made an impression, the Cariboo Cougars coaching staff noticed.

"Ty Kolle, all the young guns, Ho, did very well here," said Cariboo Cougars general manager and head coach Trevor Sprague. "I liked what they did. They have the pedigree to be a Cariboo Cougar who has great character and who can play a 200-foot game.

"Right from our goaltenders to our defencemen to our forwards, there are big players who can skate and move the puck. The games were all close and that's a good sign. The group who tried out, we were impressed with everyone and their compete level. The Cariboo Cougars and the Prince George Cougars staffs were impressed with their competitiveness."

Returning veterans who were on the ice included: forwards Colton Thomas, Riley Coish, Brendan Moore, Chase DuBois, and Keith Redden, defencemen Jesse Pomeroy, Joel Patsey (a 2014 WHL bantam draft pick) and goaltender Dorrin Luding.

Netminder Griffen Outhouse who shared goaltending duties last season with Luding, made an appearance in the crease Saturday afternoon. Outhouse is a Victoria Royals prospect and will be at the WHL team's camp trying out for a spot later this month.

Sprague said he'd love to have Outhouse back this fall, but also realizes he could make the Royals roster.

One goaltender that Sprague had to part ways with was 15-year-old Adam Kingsmill of Smithers who lost his right leg in a lawn mower accident as a two-year-old and now wears a prosthetic leg.

But that hasn't stopped him from playing hockey at a high level.

Kingsmill has a meniscus tear in his other knee and will undergo surgery to repair it.

"I said to him I would keep in touch with him," said Sprague, adding Kingsmill is welcome back to try and make the team. "For him to come out and do what he could is an inspiration. He's always smiling and is so positive."

The Cariboo Cougars will whittle their list down to a group of 45 players and reconvene again for fall camp on Sept. 4-5 at CN Centre.

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