TRURO - Shawn Evans is quite content to take a deliberate approach when it comes to the selection process for his hockey team.
And when one considers what hangs in the balance, it should really come as no surprise.
"We have our eyes on certain players, and/or type of players and we're going to continue to pursue that until we find what we want," said the head coach and general manager of the Truro junior A Bearcats.
"I'm not just gonna grab players. We want to get the players we think will help us be better than a third-place club that we were last year. It's only Day 1 and the process is a long one."
That process begins today as the Bearcats open training camp for the 2012-13 season in the Maritime Junior Hockey League.
This season is an important one for the Bearcats, who will move into the new Central Nova Scotia Civic Centre in the fall and host the Fred Page Cup Eastern Canadian championship in April.
"We want to change some things with our club this year," Evans said. "We want to change things with how we do things and how we play."
More than 30 hopefuls will attend training camp, which begins with outdoor workouts at CEC today before a Team Red vs. Team Black game at 7 p.m. at the Colchester Legion Stadium.
As is the case every season, the Bearcats are playing the wait-and-see game with players who are currently attending major junior camps in the Quebec league.
Evans said roster spots for his team will depend largely on the availability of those players.
"There's players we are hoping will join our team who are away at Q camps," he said.
The Bearcats have 14 players eligible to return - including nine forwards - from last year's squad, which posted a 29-20-1-2 record and was bounced from the first round of the playoffs.
Upgrading in every department is priority for the Bearcats in their attempt to ice a team capable of contending for league, regional and national titles. To that end, Evans has already acquired skaters to fit the bill with the addition of forwards Philip Fife (Woodstock, junior A), Scott Pawson (North Bay, Ont., junior A) and Jordan Coccimiglio (Oakville, Ont., junior A).
Evans also shored up his crease with the addition of former major junior goaltender Shayne Campbell, a 20-year-old who spent the past two seasons as a backup with the OHL's Ottawa 67's.
Other goaltenders competing for a spot on the team will be last year's starter Spencer Scott; Jacob Fancy (Halifax, midget AAA) and Oliver Schmidt (Chester, junior C). Jason Ellis, a 2011 draft pick, is still in camp with the Halifax Mooseheads.
While Evans admits there are very few roster spots up for grabs, he said all players attending training camp - including a slew of young talent - will be given a look and will have an opportunity to make the team.
"We're not stopping anybody, no matter how old you are, from making the club," he said. "We think we have a few interesting guys coming to camp on tryouts and there might be a dark horse in the group, you never know."
- Truro's Daniel Perigo, a rookie forward with the Bearcats last season, is currently attending major junior training camp with the P.E.I. Rocket.
- The Bearcats were hoping to have defenceman Casey Babineau this season, however, the Beaver Brook native will return to the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL for his fourth and final year of junior.
- Forward Cole Hawes was expected to be a key addition to the Bearcats this season, however, the native of Tangier, Halifax County, will instead play in the QMJHL with the Sherbrooke Phoenix.
TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
Fitness test, CEC, 2 p.m.
Red vs. black game, stadium, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 26
On-ice sessions, stadium, noon, 7 p.m.
Aug. 27, 28, 29
Practice, stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 30
Exhibition game vs. Pictou County, New Glasgow, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 1
Exhibition game vs. Pictou County, Truro, 7:30 p.m.
TRANING CAMP ROSTERS
Following are training camp rosters for Team Red and Team Black (number, player's name, last year's team):
1 Spencer Scott, Truro Jr. A
29 Oliver Schmidt, Chester Jr. C
31 Jason Ellis, Cole Harbour AAA
3 Mitchell Scott, Pictou AAA
4 Zach Renaud, Truro Jr. A
5 David Mosher, Truro Jr. A
10 Nathon Jardine, Cole Harbour AAA
11 Ben Nelson, Avon View
14 Dylan McGuigan, Truro Jr. A
15 Travis Fernley, Truro Jr. A
16 Philip Fife, Woodstock Jr. A
18 Scott Pawson, North Bay Jr. A
19 Derek Andrews, Kelowna Jr. B
20 Connor Baker, Brookfield Jr. B
21 Kyle MacKenzie, Truro Midget AAA
22 Jordan Coccimiglio, Oakville Jr.A
Coach - Richard Patterson, Brookfield Jr. B
1 Shayne Campbell, Ottawa Major Jr.
31 Jacob Fancy, Halifax AAA
2 Mark Wagner, Cape Breton West AAA
3 Ryan Moore, Truro Jr. A
4 Cal Gloade, Truro Jr. A
5 Jordan Yochoff, Halifax AAA
6 Jeff Hanes, Pictou AAA
7 Denver Lynds, Pictou AAA
8 Travis Moore, Truro Jr. A
10 Jordan Cox, Truro Jr. A
12 Colby Lanceleve, Truro Jr. A
15 Mike Richard, Saint John Jr. B
16 Andrew Dolan, Saint John Jr. B
18 Kenny MacInnes, Truro Midget AAA
19 Alex Anthony, Dartmouth AAA
Coach - Kevin Harvey, Brookfield Jr. B
* Injuries - Kyle Ritchie, Cole Harbour AAA; Adam Fraser - Truro Jr. A