Hockey star hopefuls try out for the Kitchener Rangers

Over 50 young men tried out for a spot on the Kitchener Rangers team and a chance to play in the OHL.

The general manger of the team says they're looking for new players with skill, work ethic and 'hockey sense'

The Rangers hosted their annual spring camp to draft new players, where 50 teenage boys came and tried out. (Dan Hamilton/Vantage Point Studios)

Since Friday evening, 50 hopeful young men, aged 15 to 18, arrived at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium with their best game — to gun for a spot on the Rangers team. 

The Rangers, Kitchener's OHL team, hosted their annual spring camp over the weekend, where they draft and hand-pick new players based upon a series of games and interviews.

"There's a lot of skilled guys out there — guys who can skate well and shoot, that's easy to see, but to get better and improve, the work ethic has to be there," said Mike McKenzie, the general manager of the Kitchener Rangers. 

"We're looking for guys who have that work ethic, consistent compete level and hockey sense as well," he said. 

McKenzie interviewed all 50 players on Sunday afternoon and said he is willing to help those who didn't make the cut look for other options, such as playing for the lower Junior A or Junior B divisions. 

He said they continue to monitor players who can't come back to the camp. 

"Not every guy can play for our team, that's the reality of the situation," said McKenzie. 

"They're still teenage boys and got a lot of growing to do. There are guys who are late bloomers, so we tend to keep tabs on those guys." 

McKenzie said he has been watching some of the boys play all year round, such as Reid Valade and Isaac Langdon, who were recently drafted over the weekend. 

"It's exciting to see them in Rangers colours and the future looks bright for some of these guys," McKenzie said.