At 15, Carter MacAdams is still a year away from vying for a full-time gig playing in the WHL this season for the Prince George Cougars.
But he’s not too young to leave a good impression on the Cougars brain trust.
He certainly did that Friday night at CN Centre in the Cougars’ Young Guns game to showcase the talent of the under-17 prospects.
MacAdams was in the right place at the right to convert a goalmouth pass from his Team Brewer linemate Kassius Kler and fire in the overtime clincher in a 6-5 win over Team Hamhuis. The goal, 4:44 into OT, was set up by a stretch pass from defenceman Jack Franklin, who found Kler in the clear.
MacAdams is just beginning his first Cougars training camp since he was picked by Prince George in the fourth round, 70th overall, in the WHL bantam draft in May. He collected 24 goals and 43 points last season playing in his hometown for the Delta Hockey Academy bantam prep team.
Team Brewer jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals from MacAdams, Prince George minor hockey product Fischer O’Brien and Andrej Kovacevic. Team Hamhuis got its offence cooking in the second period when Alex Ochitwa scored his first of two goals. The five-foot-six, 155-pound Ohitiwa, who played last season with O’Brien on the Cariboo major midget Cougars, was the first to score on six-foot-three goalie Tyler Brennan when he followed up on a rush deep into Hamhuis territory led by Koehn Ziemmer.
Defenceman Jarrin Brinson jumped into the rush and put a loose puck in behind Brennan to make a 3-2 game just before Zachery Onyskiw came in to replace Brennan halfway through the second period.
Ochitwa gave the guys in black their first lead five minutes onto the third period, after Zackery Somers had tied it for Team Hamhuis 3-3 early in the third.
Riley Dekowny turned the tide for Team Brewer when he scored on Hamhuis goalie Colton Phillips-Watts and defenceman Aiden Reeves of Prince George, who played major midget last season for the Okanagan Rockets restored the Hamhuis lead when he shovelled a low backhander into the net with eight minutes left in regulation time.
A high wrister from Ishaan Basanti forced overtime. His point shot with 5:19 left sailed in behind a screened Onyskiw.
The 40 under-17 rookies who played Friday will be dispersed on the four teams for 90-minute scrimmages and practices in the main camp over the next three days at CN Centre.
Following on-ice fitness and skill testing, the games start at 4 p.m. Saturday with Team Chara taking on Team Connolly, followed by the Team Byfuglien-Team Bourke game at 6 p.m.
On Sunday, Team Chara meets Team Byfuglien at 3:30 p.m. and Team Connolly is matched with Team Bourke at 5:30 pm. Monday's scrimmages are at 9 and 11 a.m. and 2:30 and 4:30 p.m..
The Black-White intrasquad game will be played Tuesday at 7 p.m. Admission is free for all on-ice sessions.
The Cougars have 72 players in camp – 40 forwards, 24 defencemen and eight goaltenders. Among the retuning players is 19-year-old centre Ilijah Colina, who left the Cougars last season in February to deal with a personal issue. His 16-year-old brother Isaiah played defence for Team Hamhuis Friday night.