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BOISE, Idaho – After hosting the Dallas Stars NHL training camp just two weekends ago, CenutryLink Arena in downtown Boise now has the Idaho Steelheads off and skating for their 2018 training camp, as the club prepares for their 16th season in the ECHL, their 22nd overall as an organization.

Camp started on Monday, October 1, with Head Coach Neil Graham emphasizing learning systems rather than who will necessarily make the team for the regular season.

“Day One, we’re really trying to get guys on the same page here systematically. For me, it’s more important to teach. We were going through a lot of structure, a lot of offensive situational things. You naturally watch a few guys as practice progresses, but more so than anything, it was a teaching day to make sure we were learning as a group.”

Someone well-acquainted with the systems implemented in Idaho is returning forward Justin Parizek, who suffered a lower body injury during the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs last year and missed the second round series against the Colorado Eagles. Through rehabilitation and determination, Parizek made it a point to be ready for the Steelheads season opener against Wichita on October 12.

“I had surgery on my MCL…early in the summer, I had a lot of rest and rehab. As the summer went on, I threw in workouts and skates, and just doing that rehabbing everyday…icing and maintaining that recovery. I have almost five months to this point, plenty of time to rehab and get ready for the season. I’ll be ready to go by our first game.”

One big point of interest heading into camp was the turnover from last year’s defensemen corps. Out of all the pairings that took the ice for the Steelheads in 2017-18, only Eric Sweetman and Dallas Stars prospect Chris Martenet returned for this year’s campaign. Coach Graham is confident that their two returning d-men will serve as a good foundation for the new blue line blood coming to Idaho.

“Sweetman was a huge part of our success last year. As a first-year pro, he won the top defenseman award for the Steelheads. To get him back on board meant a lot — he’s a guy we trust and we know what he’s going to bring. He’s a dynamic, two-way defender. We are really excited about the new bodies we’ve got out there — Keegan Kanzig, Brady Norrish, Clint Lewis, and other guys coming in out of college that have stepped up in that first day and turned some heads. Those are all good things; we’re excited with the group we’ve had.”

The 25 skaters attending Steelheads training camp are listed below in alphabetical order:

Name Position Age 2017-18 Team
Sean Campbell Defeseman 25 St. Norbert College (NCAA Div. III)
Connor Chatham Forward 22 Idaho Steelheads
Geoff Crisfield Defenseman 25 Southern Alberta Institute of Tech (ACAC)
Alexander Dahl Forward 25 Idaho Steelheads
Dexter Dancs Forward 23 University of Michigan (NCAA)
Scott Dornbrock Defenseman 24 Miami University of Ohio (NCAA)
Ryan Faragher Goaltender 28 Idaho / Stockton Heat (AHL)
Tanner Froese Forward 25 St. Norbert College (NCAA Div. III)
Keegan Kanzig Defenseman 23 Florida Everblades
Kale Kessy Forward 25 Tulsa Oilers / Cleveland Monsters (AHL)
Clint Lewis Defenseman 23 Minnesota State University at Mankato (NCAA)
Chris Martenet Defenseman 21 Idaho Steelheads
Steve McParland Forward 27 Idaho / Texas Stars (AHL)
Anthony McVeigh Forward 25 Huntsville Havoc (SPHL) / Utica College (NCAA Div. III)
Mitch Moroz Forward 24 Idaho Steelheads
Michael Neville Forward 25 Idaho Steelheads
Jack Nevins Forward 25 Greenville Swamp Rabbits / Idaho
Brady Norrish Defenseman 25 Rochester Institute of Technology (NCAA)
Justin Parizek Forward 26 Idaho Steelheads
Joe Pendenza Forward 27 Cleveland Monsters (AHL)
Avery Peterson Forward 23 University of Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA)
Kyle Schempp Forward 24 Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL)
Tomas Sholl Goaltender 23 Idaho / Adirondack / Macon (SPHL) / Evansville (SPHL)
Eric Sweetman Defenseman 24 Idaho Steelheads
A.J. White Forward 26 Idaho Steelheads

 

Full Interview with Head Coach Neil Graham

 

Full Interview with Idaho Forward Justin Parizek

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