There were no surprises in the first round of cuts at Battlefords North Stars training camp.
The club trimmed its roster to 46 bodies on Friday afternoon, from 70, and most of the cuts were younger players.
"[Cuts] are always difficult and to be honest, we made some moves we maybe wouldn't have made but we're just using our roster and doing it by age," North Stars head coach and general manager Brandon Heck said. "We wanted to take a look at 40 guys that we believe can make the team this year and in order to do that, we had to let go [of] some [younger] guys that probably outplayed some of these guys."
Only one 1997-born player and two 1998-born players were among the 24 cuts, with the rest being 1999, 2000, or 2001-born players.
There are still six goaltenders in the mix, as only 2001-born goalie Corbin Christianson was cut. That means five netminders are still vying for the backup job behind Taryn Kotchorek: Jake Davidson, Austin Prior, Dawson Rodin, Jake Taylor, and Noah Wiens.
Prior, Rodin, Taylor and Wiens will all play half a game in Saturday's black vs. white scrimmage, while Davidson will play in Monday's exhibition game against Bonnyville.
"The goaltending situation isn't any clearer than it was a few days ago," Heck said.
Each of Friday morning's scrimmages was a blow-out, and afterwards Heck said he knew part of the reason why.
"One thing that I was irritated about was the players' level of wanting the puck in the D-zone," Heck said. "They're always looking for someone else to take the hit to make the play to get it out and the teams that got blown out, they didn't have too many of those guys so I'm hoping some players are embarassed and are going to play the right way and make their linemates or 'D' partners better."
Following Saturday's intra-squad game, there will be more cuts made, but not many, as the staff needs a large roster in order to play their seven pre-season games.
"There will probably be a few [cuts], but I'm not anticipating that many," Heck said.
On Twitter: @NathanKanter11
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