The New Jersey Titans concluded its main camp last Friday, as the team gears up for the 2019-20 season.
A wide array of prospects, draft picks, tender signings and returning players spent four days scrimmaging at Middletown Sports Complex to compete for a roster spot on the Titans’ NAHL team. Head coach Craig Doremus called the tryout camp a success and credited his staff for bringing in a talented group of prospects.
“I was really impressed. Full compliments to our scouts for assembling a great group of talent from free agents and the draft picks mixed in with the tenders,” he said. “Overall a lot of good hockey players competing all week and they did a really good job. Impressive group of young athletes here in New Jersey.”
According to Doremus, the biggest challenge was making cuts and gradually reducing the roster size as the week progressed. With a plethora of prospects to choose from, the staff had to make tough decisions on who to keep for training camp in August.
“I think any time you get to the point with the numbers, and I know it’s cliche to say that it’s a numbers game but it is, you can’t take everyone. As the roster takes shape, there’s only so many people you can take at each position and take on forward to the training camp in August,” Doremus said. “For us any time you get to those final one or two spots, different people like different players for different reasons. You try to come up with the best solution that works best for your hockey team moving forward.”
This will be the Titans’ fifth season in New Jersey, and the fourth year with Doremus and Bobby DiRico behind the bench. Last spring the Titans were just a game away from advancing to the Robertson Cup Tournament in Minnesota, but were defeated by the Johnstown Tomahawks. With a large number of players returning, this year’s roster could have more experience and–hopefully–more motivation to advance to the Robertson Cup.
“For us it’s been a lot of excitement going into next season. We’ve spoken a lot about the veteran players we have returning,” Doremus said. “I think they’re all passionate and hungry, that was really refreshing to see this camp with so many guys itching to go despite not having that long of an offseason here. They’re eager to get back to work, they want to get back together and go at it.
There’s a sense of unfinished business in the room which is good, and for us last year with the group we had with a quote-unquote younger team and not many 20-year-olds. We’re really excited about this year. We’ve had it circled and a lot of guys are eager to get here and get to work in August in camp, start the season and get to Blaine.”
Photo Credit: Jennifer Cook