Adam Musil is hoping that his continued growth will be similar to how he and the Canadian under-18 team improved on a game-to-game basis en route to winning gold in the recent Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament.
“We tried to get better every day. That’s what we did and I thought our last game was our best game,” the Red Deer Rebels forward said Wednesday, in reference to the Canadian squad’s 6-2 win over the host Czech Republic in the gold-medal contest.
“It was awesome. Playing against the best players in my age group was something unbelievable and winning the gold medal was something special. It was an honour wearing the Canadian jersey.”
Musil scored once, added two assists and recorded eight minutes in penalties in five games for the undefeated Canadians.
The six-foot-three, 200-pound Vancouver product was also stellar defensively.
“I had a different role on that team, being more of a defensive guy,” he said. “I wasn’t one of the most skilled guys on the team, but I took my role and tried to make the best out of it.”
The 17-year-old enjoyed a productive Western Hockey League rookie season in 2013-14, sniping 11 goals and collecting 29 points in 60 games. He was also a plus-5 in the plus/minus department.
Eligible for the NHL entry draft in 2015, he’s now on the verge on entering perhaps the most important season of his young career.
“Every year is big but this season is that much more special because of the NHL draft (next June),” he said, after registering for the Rebels training camp starting this morning at the Enmax Centrium. “But the draft is still almost a year away so I still have time to improve.
“I just have to work hard and get better every day and things will work out fine.”
Musil has every intention of improving on his rookie numbers and helping the Rebels excel and qualify for the playoffs, which they narrowly missed last season. The team should put up better offensive numbers overall, he added.
“We have some good and older forwards. The forwards have more experience than last year and we’ll for sure score more goals,” he said.
Rebels general manager/head coach Brent Sutter expects Musil to play a major role on the team this season. For starters, he’ll move back to his natural position of centre after skating on the wing as a freshman.
“No question, we have big plans for Adam. He’s certainly started off the right way with the U18 team and the way he played there,” said Sutter. “From all reports I’ve been getting, he played very, very well.
“We’d like to get him back to his normal position, at centre ice. Obviously it’s difficult for young kids to play centre at 16 in this league, but he’s a 200-pound guy now and the experience he went through last year is going to make him a better player. He’s obviously going to be a big part of our team this season and into the future,” added Sutter.
Training camp opened today with the rookie goalies hitting the ice at 9:15 a.m. for a 30-minute session.
Today — Rookie goalies, 9:15-9:45 a.m.; rookie scrimmage, 10-11:30 a.m.; alumni pro skate, 12-1:30 p.m.; main practice, 2-3:30 p.m.; rookie scrimmage, 4-5:30 p.m.
Friday — Main practice Group A, 8-8:45 a.m.; rookie scrimmage, 9-10:30 a.m.; main practice Group B, 10:45-11:30 a.m.; alumni pro skate, 12-1:30 p.m.; rookie scrimmage, 3-4:30 p.m.; main game, 5-6:30 p.m.
Saturday — Main practice Group B, 8-8:45 a.m.; rookie scrimmage, 9-10:30 a.m.; main practice Group A, 10:45-11:30 a.m.; alumni pro skate, 12-1:30 p.m.; main game, 4:30-6 p.m.
Sunday — Pre-game skate Team Black, 8:30-9:15 a.m.; pre-game skate Team White, 9:30-10:15 a.m.; Black and White game, 5 p.m.
Main camp roster (includes year of birth and hometown)
Goal — x-Taz Burman, 1997, Vancouver; Rylan Toth, ‘96, Saskatoon.
Defence — Alex Pernitsky, 1996, Unity, Sask; x-Kayle Doetzel, ‘96, Rosetown, Sask.; Brett Cote, ‘94, Oak Bank, Man.; Hugo Jansons, ‘97, Riga, Latvia; x-Nick Charif, ‘95, Edmonton; Mario Grman, ‘97, Topolcany, Slovakia; Austin Shmoorkoff, ‘97, Edmonton; Austin Strand, ‘97, Calgary.
Forwards — x-Evan Polei, 1996, Edmonton; x-Conner Bleackley, ‘96, High River; x-Brooks Maxwell, ‘94, Raymond; x-Meyer Nell, ‘97, Boissevain, Man.; x-Presten Kopeck, ‘95, Medicine Hat; x-Wyatt Johnson, ‘95, Saskatoon; x-Grayson Pawlenchuk, ‘97, Ardrossan; x-Adam Musil, ‘97, Delta, B.C.; Mason McCarty, ‘97, Blackie; x-Devan Fafard, ‘94, Carlyle, Sask.; x-Scott Feser, ‘95, Red Deer; x-Cole Chorney, ‘96, Beaumont; x-Kirk Bear, ‘95, Whitewood, Sask.; Brayden Burke, ‘97, Edmonton; x-Kolton Dixon, ‘95, Red Deer.
Rookie camp (includes year of birth and hometown)
Goal — Colby Entz, 1998, Churchbridge, Sask.; Linden Boulet, ‘99, Clairmont.
Defence — Carson Sass, 1999, Melville, Sask.; Cale Chalifoux, ‘98, Edmonton; Kyle Sargent, ‘98, Carlyle, Sask.; Tylor Ludwar, ‘99, Regina; Matthew Kasowski, ‘99, St. Albert; Austin Wagner, ‘99, Medicine Hat.
Forwards — Josh Logel, 1998, Calgary; Jake Lechyshyn, ‘99, Grasswood, Sask.; Austin Pratt, ‘99, Lakeville, Minn.; Chase Stevenson, ‘99, West Kelowna; Quinton McAndrews, ‘98, Edmonton; Brayden Labant, ‘99, St. Paul; Bronson Littlechilds, ‘98, Edmonton; Tanner Sidaway, ‘99, Victoria; Zachary Gladu, ‘98, Medicine Hat; Cruz Cote, ‘99, Falher; Luke Farrell, ‘99, Bruderheim.
Goal — Dawson Weatherill, ‘99, Red Deer; Alex Geddes, ‘99, Yorkton, Sask.
Defence — Josh Mahura, ‘98, St. Albert; Boo Grist, ‘99, North Saanich, B.C.; Ethan Sakowich, ‘99, Athabasca; Max Salpeter, 1998, St. Albert; Wyatt Arndt, ‘99, Weyburn, Sask.; Carter Brown, ‘98, Edmonton; Malcolm Thakurdeen, ‘99, Saskatoon.
Forwards — Chance Adrian, ‘99, Dalmeny, Sask.; Shane Sherban, ‘98, Lanigan, Sask.; Reese Johnson, ‘98, Saskatoon; Akash Bains, ‘99, Delta, B.C.; Tyler Kirkup, ‘98, Virden, Man.; Caleb Riess, ‘98, Rocanville, Sask.; Seth Benson, ‘99, Moorhead, Minn.; Austin LeDuc, ‘98, Okotoks; Jake Langenhahn, ‘99, St. Albert; Mason Issel, ‘99, Prince Albert, Sask.; Drayson Skulmoski, ‘98, Moosomin, Sask.