WENATCHEE — The Wenatchee Wild vastly expanded their ranks after a four-day tryout camp that wrapped up Sunday.
Wenatchee invited 17 (six defensemen and 11 forwards) of the 144 players who attended camp to return to Wenatchee for the tier-II junior hockey team’s training camp, which begins Aug. 23.
“It showed us where some kids were at,” Wild coach Bliss Littler said in a phone interview.
“When you’re watching them play high school or midget hockey, they’re playing against the same level. When they move up, there’s an adjustment.”
As expected, tryouts played a big role in putting together this year’s Wild squad. Wenatchee entered the offseason with a blank roster after the original Wild’s departure for Texas. It plans to have between 25 to 30 players attend training camp.
Littler said he expects first-round draft pick Parker Toumie and 15th-round pick Gustaf Johansson to report for training camp in August. Neither was present for tryouts due to travel issues.
Wenatchee will get another chance to evaluate talent during a tryout camp Aug. 2-4 in Prior Lake, Minn. The camp will be about half the size of the one held in Wenatchee.
Overall, Littler was pleased with what he saw on the ice.
“(Assistant) coach (Tom) Rudrud and (assistant) coach Chris Clark did a great job with the draft, getting the best players that were available,” he said. “They did a good job of drafting the players we want to coach.”