Brandon, MB (CKLQ) - Sometimes when you live in a small town in Northern Saskatchewan, finding ice-time in the summer can be a tough task. Nipawin's Davis Chorney had to get creative to work on his stride.
With the closest available ice 266 KM away in Saskatoon, Chorney bought himself a pair of "Mars Blades" a relatively new product, similar to a rollerblade, only fixed onto the boot of his hockey skate.
Luckily for Chorney, the Town of Nipawin just finished laying a fresh patch of asphalt a block from his house. With new wheels in tow, and a smooth stretch of roadway, the summer training began.
Originally a draft pick of the Medicine Hat Tigers in 2017 (14th Rd - 307th Overall), Chorney never signed with the Tigers and was listed by Brandon as a free agent partway through last season.
After a stellar season with the Tisdale AAA Trojans, one that wrapped up with a bronze medal at the Telus Cup National Championship, the 17-year-old says his focus is on making the Brandon Wheat Kings.
"I brought more clothes than I needed for camp," said Chorney with a chuckle. "My goal is to make the Brandon Wheat Kings. I plan on staying here."
That opportunity is entirely in Chorney's hands. With 10 returning forwards, and the addition of Finnish import Marcus Kallionkieli there isn't a whole lot of room up-front. Chorney says he knows the challenge in front of him and plans to meet it head-on.
"I'm not here to be a point guy," said Chorney. "I'm a two-way power forward, I'm here to work my hardest every shift and every practice. I'm taking in all the details the coaches are telling me and trying to get better every day."
Last year in Tisdale, Chorney played in 59 games between the regular season, playoffs and the Telus Cup qualifier and main event. The 6'0", 200 pound forward scored 21 times and finished with 36 points.
Despite coming up short of their ultimate goal of a Gold Medal, the run to the National Championship was a valuable experience.
"It was crazy. It was some of the best hockey I have played in my life," said Chorney. "We had some tight overtime games and that experience goes a long way. Winning regionals and playing on the big stage is something I will always remember."
Chorney and the rest of the prospect pool will wrap up rookie camp tonight at Westoba Place at 6:00.
-Marcus Kallionkieli is rehabbing a lower-body injury with the Vegas Golden Knights doctors and trainers. There is no timeline for his arrival in Brandon.
-Lynden McCallum will take part in practices during training camp, but will not play in any camp scrimmages. He is recovering from off-season shoulder surgery.
-18-year-old Brandonite Drayson Collyer will take part in training camp. He missed the 2nd half of last season dealing with a serious leg injury.