Minnesota Wilderness Hit the Ice for Training Camp

The Wilderness will open their season on the road on October 16th against Minot.

CLOQUET, Minn. – Next week, the NAHL regular season officially kicks off and that means the return of the Northland’s favorite junior hockey team: the Minnesota Wilderness.

Monday, the team hit the ice for the first time, which was much later than they have done in the past. The schedule will also be more condensed, but with the status of college and high school hockey up in the air, having any season at all is a big positive.

“It takes a lot of work behind the scenes that no one sees obviously. But I think it’s just a testament to just the commitment by our league, the commitment by all the programs to make sure that we provide these players with this opportunity,” head coach Jon Vaillancourt said.

“Me and a lot of other guys on the team, this is our last year to make hopefully a chance at a DI school or possible even DIII. If we can’t play, it’s kind of dream’s over so we’re really lucky to be able to be in this position,” said forward Jacob Herter.

Another change to this season will be the new protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and promote social distancing. The Wilderness say they had a team meeting before training camp to make sure everyone was on the same page.

“What I basically told the players was if you don’t follow the protocol, it’s not that you’re a bad person or anything like that. You’re just not going to be the right fit for us because we want guys that are committed to our cause and our culture so part of that now is finding protocols so that we can have the safest environment possible so they can be on the ice and they can develop and play. And for those kids who aren’t committed already to get a Division 1 or Division 3 commitment,” Vaillancourt said.

The Wilderness will open their season on the road on October 16th against Minot.

Categories: College, Sports