Locally, for the Fort St. John Huskies, that role belongs to Vince Pederson. Pederson says that up to this point, he’s happy with what he sees on the ice from his group of players.

“So far it’s looking really good. We’ve got a core of our guys out now – there’s still some guys missing that are working, on holidays, in Kelowna – but right now it’s looking pretty good,” he says.

Pederson adds that he’s looking forward to the team gelling as a unit, even though it may be a challenge initially.

“It’s the get together of the players, and becoming one group, and not playing as individuals. It’s a hard thing to get rid of, but if you work hard at it, you become a good group,” he explains. “Every one of these guys we want to see step right up to it. We’re in a situation now that we can have a group all become one. There’s lots of talent; they should be able to get together and make it one big, good group.”

The size of the defence is one of the things that has been very noticeable throughout practices this season. The crew will be counted on to use their natural abilities to clog up the zone and eliminate scoring chances.

“It’s going to be big. We’re still missing one guy that’s out with a knee injury right now, and he’s 6’8”, so we got four guys over that six foot mark,” Pederson says. “It’s going to add a lot of muscle to our D, which we really haven’t really had over the last couple of years. We’ve had it there, but not this size. The reach thing with these big guys is going to make it a little difficult to get in close, and hopefully they can knock them down and keep them out of the goaltenders way.”

The team is on the ice this year earlier than they have been in years past, and are hoping the extra time for the players to get their legs under them will result in some early success. The Huskies will practice once again tomorrow evening at the Pomeroy Sport Centre.