The Tri-City Americans rookie camp ends today with the annual Blue and White game.
The game, scheduled for 10 a.m. at Toyota Center, will showcase future Americans players. It is open to the public and free of charge.
The rookie camp has had a California flair this year, with 10 players from the Golden State. Five are from the L.A. Selects bantam team: goalie Evan Sarthou, forwards Ty Comrie and Robby Jackson, and defensemen Derin Ozturk and Joseph Thielen.
Comrie, a 2012 third-round Western Hockey League bantam pick, is the younger brother of Americans goalie Eric Comrie.
“I think it’s quite an honor to be here with him,” Ty Comrie said of his brother. “He has been a big help. He knows what to do and what it’s like. I’ve had a lot of fun here.”
Comrie and his L.A. Selects teammates have been on the Gold team during camp, which Comrie said has made the experience more enjoyable.
“They are good friends of mine, and it’s been helpful to have them on my team,” he said. “I was a little nervous at first, but it’s fun at the same time.”Jackson, who is keeping his college options open, said he has enjoyed camp.
“It has been really fun,” he said. “The practices have been great. If there is something you can do better, the coaches talk to you. In the power skating, you learn so much. I’ve been soaking it all in, and I will use it during the season.”
He also has spent a little time with the veterans and become more familiar with the WHL.
“Ty and I went to Eric and (Adam) Hughesman’s billets and played badminton and video games (NHL ’08),” Jackson said. “This is a great route. This has been a great experience. Everything about it has been really fun. Since I was young, everything has been college. I really only learned about the WHL two years ago.”
The rookies were put through the paces by skating coach Vanessa Hettinger on Saturday morning. Tri-City’s first-round pick, defenseman Parker Wotherspoon of Surrey, British Columbia, soaked up the knowledge.
“This has been awesome. Life-changing,” said Wotherspoon, who has signed with the Americans. “The game is so much quicker than what I’m used to.
“My brother (defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon) plays for Portland, and he talks about (playing in the WHL), but you have to experience it in person.”
Comrie, Jackson, Wotherspoon and a few other rookies have been held over for main camp next week. Though it’s a big honor, Jackson had to turn down the offer.
“It’s a lose-lose situation,” Jackson said. “I can’t stay for main camp, and I’m going to a new school. I’m going to be billeted in Southern California this year, and I have to go back and register for school. Hopefully next year I can stay.”
w Annie Fowler: 582-1574; firstname.lastname@example.org