North Bay Battalion gamers tenting out 

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North Bay continues to train while several players will travel to National Hockey League training camps next week

Battalion Assistant Coach Scott Wray keeps players razor sharp during training camp. Photo by Greg Estabrooks, The Nugget

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Dom DiVincentiis speaks for a few million Canadian kids when he says, “I mean, it’s every hockey player’s dream to make it into the NHL[National Hockey League]. To be drafted and now that[the season]is finally here, it’s super exciting for me to say I get to go to an NHL camp.”

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That camp would belong to the Winnipeg Jets, who defeated the Battalion goaltender in the seventh round of the NHL draft in June.

DiVicentiis is traveling to Jets Camp next week.

“You know, it’s just about controlling your emotions and continuing with what I’m working on here and just progressing over there (at the Jets camp).”

DiVicentiis will be the battalion’s top goalkeeper this year and has no qualms about coaching the club’s younger goalkeeper.

“I had a good season with Joe (Vrbetic) last year. He taught me how to be a starting goalkeeper. I think I will do the same with my goalkeeping partner here (Charlie) Robertson. My job is to just teach him how to play and allow him to develop like I did. I hope to be a leader for him on and off the ice.”

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Dalyn Wakely was a player who was overlooked in the draft.

Wakely scored 20 goals in his first season in the Ontario Hockey League, but that wasn’t enough to be named by an NHL team.

“I think the draft is an unpredictable thing anyway, you’re never guaranteed to get picked,” Wakely says.

Wakely has landed a free agent invite to the Ottawa senator’s camp, where he says he’ll do his best to impress.

“So, I think I just look at it as a job to do this year. I know that if I go to camp with Ottawa, I will of course try to prove my point there.

Wakely knows the battalion has a solid team and should be contenders for the upcoming season.
“We’re just excited to get started. Obviously we had a pretty short summer with what we achieved last year. We talked in the room about having another short summer this year.”

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The training camp is also a time of team building.

Battalion General Manager Adam Dennis has played in the league and says the OHL has come a long way in forging young players and older players into a true team.

Gone are the days when novices were intimidated by the presence of experienced players, Dennis says.

“It was almost like a pecking order and you had to wait your turn. I think it’s so contradictory these days. mWe want a 16 year old to come on board and feel like you can contribute immediately. m If they can, why should we stop them? Our job at the end of the day is to put the best team on the ice.”

In addition to DiVicentiis, Ty Nelson (Seattle), Liam Arnsby (Florida), Kyle Jackson (Seattle) and Tnias Mathurin (Detroit) will be heading to camp as 2022 NHL draftees.

Kyle MacDonald will join Wakely as a free agent at Ottawa’s camp.

Matvey Petrov (Edmonton 2021) goes to his second Oiler’s Camp.

The battalion has an easy preseason schedule when it comes to games. They host Owen Sound at 2pm on September 11 at Memorial Gardens, which will be the club’s only home game during the exhibition season.

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