While his Halifax Mooseheads teammates are home enjoying their summer, Brent Andrews will sweat it out at one of the most important tryout camps of his young career.
The 17-year-old centre leaves next week for Hockey Canada’s tryout camp for their summer under-18 team that will compete at the Ivan Hlinka memorial tournament in Slovakia and the Czech Republic in August.
“I’m just going to go and work as hard as I can, do the best I can, and hopefully make the team,” Andrews said.
That pretty much sums up the Hunter River, P.E.I., native’s approach to everything. His put-your-head-down-and-work mentality as a QMJHL rookie made him a favourite of the Mooseheads’ coaching staff, although his offensive totals — seven goals and nine assists in 64 games — were modest.
Andrews flashed more offensive upside with Team Atlantic at the world under-17 challenge last December, producing five points in five games.
“I was a little more confident in my abilities playing with players my own age,” Andrews said.
The robust six-foot-two 198-pounder will be bigger and stronger than many of his peers at the under-18 camp, which should help him stand out.
“I imagine I’ll be used in more of a power forward role, a checking centre,” Andrews said.
“But I’ll pretty much fall into any role they ask me to.”
Andrews has never worn the Maple Leaf on his sweater and is excited about the possibility.
“It would be great to represent your country, to go overseas and do what you love to do,” Andrews said.
Friends become teammates again
Brent Andrews is looking forward to being reunited with Darcy Ashley.
Ashley, a high-scoring winger drafted by the Halifax Mooseheads in June, played midget with Andrews in 2008-09 before lighting up the junior A ranks last season.
“Darcy works like a dog,” Andrews said.
“He’s a character guy, he’s skilled, he has high hockey IQ and he can put the puck in the net. I’m excited.
“We’re good friends and we played a lot of hockey together growing up.”