Even in the heat of a late summer, preparations are well under way for another exciting season of Humboldt Broncos Junior Hockey. This week, the team has been hosting its ever-popular hockey school, and this weekend, the Broncos selection camp will kick into high gear. The public is invited to come on down for a glimpse of what the 2023-24 edition of the Broncos will look like. At the same time, visitors can help out by participating in the stem cell donor drive in support of former AA Bronco, Archer Franklin. The Kelvington youth, with support from Canadian Blood Services, needs your help in matching stem cells for Archer’s treatment.  

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The camp starts Friday morning and goes throughout the weekend, culminating in the Green and Gold game on Sunday.  

“With the players who have moved on with different scholarships, I think that’s helped with recruiting the next set of players,” says Broncos Head Coach Scott Barney, who is anxious to fire the season up. “We have players attending from all over Canada and into the US. It’s been a lot of hard work by our scouts and our staff watching different players, and bringing them in. So it’s going to be good to see how they match up to the competition.” 

The SJHL is a true proving ground for these young players, and one of the exciting aspects of the league is the constant renewal and opportunities with the teams. It’s also a critical stepping off point for players into college and university hockey with teams that can hone their hockey skills as well as provide quality post-secondary education. The Broncos’ record on that front is something that Barney is particularly proud of.  

“We had five Division 1 NCAA commitments last year; we had four at U-Sports. That’s got to be one of the highest records for players getting in while playing with us. We’re excited to see the development of some of our younger players, some of our draft picks, and our returning players. With some of these new guys pushing our older player for spots, all the guys are eager to be here” 

While the camp officially starts on Friday, new and established players have been in the Uniplex all week, skating and prepping for the demands of the camp. All of the skaters want to be around on Sunday for the main event.  

“Sunday at 12, we’ll have our Green and Gold game. We’ll have three 20-minute periods just like a normal game – the Elgar Petersen Cup, we call it. It’s a great time to come down and buy tickets while you’re here. We’ll have an exciting team this year with the kind of hockey we like to play.” 

Those who come down to catch the action are encouraged to participate in the stem cell donor drive for Archer on Saturday, September 2 from 12:00 – 4:00 pm right at the arena. 

“We’d like to get people down to do a swab to get a match for Archer,” says Barney. “It doesn’t take long, and hopefully we can find a match to get this young man back his life and get him back playing the game he loves.”  

Drop on down to the Uniplex this weekend and catch all the excitement of the Bronco Camp and get a glimpse of this year’s edition of your Humboldt Broncos.   

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