CALGARY, AB — Training camp is a time when players can make a name for themselves and earn a spot on the roster.
Or off of the roster, in some cases.
Because of this, there are always certain players that are more exciting to watch in training camp.
Here are five players you should pay attention to on the Calgary Roughnecks roster:
HOLDEN CATTONI, LF:
With any first round draft choice, there are always big expectations. The same remains true for Cattoni. The young lefty will be expected to come to camp and compete for a roster spot against fellow lefties Dane Dobbie, Jeff Shattler, and Riley Loewen.
In his career with Johns Hopkins University, Cattoni netted 78 goals and 18 assists in 59 games playing as a midfielder. During the 2016 summer season with the Peterborough Lakers, he showed off his abilities in the box. With 16 goals and 15 assists in 12 games, Cattoni proved capable of being a quality scorer against the best players in the world. And he did that as a role player, playing behind John Grant Jr., Adam Jones, and Cory Vitarelli.
With three veterans established on the left side of the Roughnecks offence, Cattoni will have to be a role player in the NLL. As the fourth lefty, he will be given time to showcase his speed and shooting abilities.
He is a must-watch player at training camp as it will be the first opportunity to see the local boy wear a Roughnecks uniform.
CHRISTIAN DEL BIANCO, G:
With the departure of veteran netminder Mike Poulin, it almost guaranteed a roster spot for the young phenom. Despite a job waiting for him in the NLL, Del Bianco kept his focus on the BCJALL season with the Coquitlam Junior Adanacs. He continued his streak of perfection in the regular season, winning all 18 of his starts, while sporting a 5.96 GAA. While he experienced a few losses in the post-season, he and the Adanacs rebounded with a fantastic Minto Cup appearance. Del Bianco was 5-2 with a 5.49 GAA en route to beating the Orangeville Northmen and winning the Minto Cup.
While it’s assumed that veteran Frankie Scigliano will enter camp as the starter for the Roughnecks, it will be worth watching the athletic youngster to see if he’s ready to ply his trade should the Riggers call his name. And who knows? Maybe the 15th overall selection in 2015 could make a push for the starting job with a fantastic training camp.
CHAD CUMMINGS, D:
One of the more interesting acquisitions came this off-season when Cummings was removed from the hold-out list and signed to a one-year deal. After completing his hockey career at the University of Brockport, he decided it was time to give an NLL career a chance.
Since he was drafted 36th overall in 2012, Cummings has been playing hockey in the winters and lacrosse in the summer. From 2013-2015, he played in Kitchener, but in 2016 he and the team moved to Cobourg. In four seasons with the team, Cummings has 32 points (14g, 18a) and 95 penalty minutes.
With his size (6-foot-5) and athleticism, Cummings is an interesting candidate to make the team. He’ll be able to handle even the biggest of forwards lacrosse the league – I’m looking at you Mark Matthews – and is quick enough to provide some value in the transition game. Now that his focus is solely on lacrosse, there’s no telling what the ceiling could be for the big defender.
VAUGHN HARRIS, F:
Initially predicted to be drafted in the 1st round of the 2016 NLL Draft, Vaughn Harris experienced a bit of a fall, being taken by the Roughnecks with the 15th overall pick in the second round. Good fortune for the Riggers, I suppose.
The two-time Mann Cup Champion brings a versatile set of skills to the Roughnecks roster. Having played out of both gates, Harris has shown his ability to play defence as well as shoot the rock. Given that skill set, Harris could be another right-handed transition option for the Riggers.
To make Harris even more interesting, he has plenty of experience in the face-off circle. With Tyler Burton and Bobby Snider both returning to the team, the competition on the draws could be very interesting. As a guy who can make an impact in all facets of the game, it will be interesting to see what the coaching staff asks of him in his rookie season.
MATT SYMES, F:
Another one of the Roughnecks second round draft picks, Matt Symes is a very interesting player coming into camp.
With most of the right-side of the offence already in place, he’ll be in tough to earn a spot on the roster. But he’s used to battling hard and he’s a completely different player than what the Riggers already have.
While he has the ability to score, as seen by his 22 points (11g, 11a) in 13 games in the Western Lacrosse Association last year, Symes is a hard-working, gritty player who works well in the dirty areas and doesn’t need the rock to be successful. He showed off his hands at the Mann Cup in 2016, scoring a couple of nifty, highlight-reel goals for the Maple Ridge Burrards.
Given his early draft selection, his mix of skills will be interesting to watch when training camp opens up.
Below is the full roster for Roughnecks Training Camp:
NO JERSEY NAME POSITION SH HOMETOWN DOB
2 White Riley Loewen Offence L Burnaby, BC Sept. 26/89
3 White Brody Eastwood Offence L Victoria, BC Aug. 12/92
4 White Dane Dobbie Offence L Elora, ON Dec. 1/86
5 White Matt Symes Offence R Coquitlam, BC Mar. 11/94
6 White Spencer Evans Offence R Coquitlam, BC Sept. 22/92
7 White Jeff Shattler Offence L Toronto, ON Dec. 26/84
8 White Holden Cattoni Offence L DeWinton, AB Aug. 29/94
14 White Wesley Berg Offence R Coquitlam, BC Apr. 19/93
17 White Curtis Dickson Offence R Port Coquitlam, BC Jul. 18/88
23 White Tyler Digby Offence R New Westminster, BC Mar. 12/91
3 Red Dan MacRae Defence L Oakville, ON Jul. 17/88
4 Red Tor Reinholdt Defence L Port Moody, BC Apr. 21/90
5 Red Chad Cummings Defence L Caledon, ON Jun. 27/91
6 Red Garrett McIntosh Defence R Coquitlam, BC Jun. 17/89
7 Red Tyler Burton Defence R London, ON Sept. 30/88
8 Red Tony Tremblay Defence R Calgary, AB Jul. 7/95
9 Red Tyson Bell Defence L St. Catharines, ON Feb. 14/94
10 Red Curtis Manning Defence R Surrey, BC Mar. 12/87
11 Red Greg Harnett Defence L Orangeville, ON Jun. 30/90
12 Red Austin Rockwell Defence R Calgary, AB Apr. 20/95
13 Red Jon Harnett Defence L Orangeville, ON May 28/88
14 Red Bob Snider Defence R Calgary, AB Aug. 26/85
15 Red Keegan Rittinger Defence R Coquitlam, BC Mar. 15/95
16 Red Mike Carnegie Defence R London, ON Mar. 4/84
17 Red Jake Archdekin Defence L Calgary, AB May 18/95
18 Red Vaughn Harris Defence R Six Nations, ON Sept. 20/92
19 Red Kellen LeClair Defence L Windsor, ON Mar. 27/95
21 Red Karsen Leung Defence R Victoria, BC Apr. 21/90
24 Red Scott Carnegie Defence R London, ON Dec. 17/85
00 White Jordan Kancsal Goalie R Calgary, AB Feb. 19/94
30 Red Peter Dubenski Goalie R Nanaimo, BC Aug. 29/93
35 White Christian Del Bianco Goalie R Coquitlam, BC Aug. 31/97
92 Red Frankie Scigliano Goalie R Coquitlam, BC Jan. 16/92