Tri-City Americans

16-year-old Comrie shines during rookie camp

If Eric Comrie was nervous, he didn't show it Thursday morning in the first practice of the Tri-City Americans rookie camp.

It's his second camp, and after a spending time with the Americans in the playoffs last year, he looked right at home on the Toyota Center ice.

"I just wanted to get my legs under me," Comrie said. "I felt pretty good. I know what I'm getting into."

Comrie, who turned 16 on July 6, will compete for the starting job in net with newcomer Ty Rimmer after last year's backup Chris Driedger was traded to Calgary and two-year starter Drew Owsley was traded to Prince George to trim down the glut of overage players.

"He's a mature, confident young man," said Tri-City general manager Bob Tory. "He's prepared and knows he's going to have to work for playing time. He grew up in a hockey environment and he understands the game. You can't replace that. Because of the overage situation, we were forced to move Drew, but Ty has experience as starter. That should help ease the transition."

The Americans signed Comrie, their 2010 first-round bantam draft pick, April 7 and brought him along for their playoff series with Spokane.

Just three days after signing on the dotted line, Comrie got his first taste of the WHL, playing the third period of Game 2 against the Chiefs. He allowed one goal and finished with 13 saves.

"Bringing him in for the playoffs was critical," Tory said. "He got to see what the (WHL) environment is like."

Comrie said he was looking forward to working with Owsley, and was surprised when Owsley was traded.

"I was shocked to see him go," Comrie said. "It's good for me, but it will be hard for the rest of the team. He was well liked in the locker room. Hopefully we can come together as a team."

Comrie said he welcomes the opportunity to challenge for the starting job with Rimmer, who came over from Prince George in the Owsley trade.

"I'm ready to work hard and earn some ice time," Comrie said. "I think it will be a fun year."

Comrie, a native of Edmonton, Alberta, resides in Newport Beach, Calif. Last year with the L.A. Selects midget U16 team, Comrie was 16-2-0 with five shutouts, a 1.34 goals against average and a .940 save percentage.

Comrie was the starting goalie for Team Alberta at the U16 Canada Winter Games in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Team Alberta won the bronze medal with Comrie posting a tournament best 1.94 goals against average and a .927 save percentage.

The Americans rookie camp continues through Saturday, with the Blue-White Game at 10 a.m. Sunday. All events are at Toyota Center.