In the late summer of 2015, Michael Ferrandino was a 15-year-old defenseman hoping to play junior hockey someday.
Ferrandino’s performance during the Waterloo Black Hawks’ Futures Camp at Young Arena during those warm August days was his first opportunity to make an impression on the Hawks coaches. For the then-midget player with the Chicago Young Americans, it was also a chance to live the USHL lifestyle for a few days.
“It was a great experience, just being able to get used to the facilities and the coaching staff, and meet everyone here for a little taste of what the average day of a Black Hawks player is like,” remembers Ferrandino, now in his second year with the Hawks.
Ferrandino got to know current and former Waterloo skaters like 2016/17 leading scorer Nick Swaney and three-year veteran Tyler Zepeda. After Ferrandino was selected during the 2016 USHL Draft and joined the Hawks that fall, Swaney became his teammate. Although only a few players may go on from camp to eventually playing in front of a capacity home crowd at Young Arena, Ferrandino says there is a lot to gain from the experience for anyone hoping to develop their hockey potential.
“Just come out and try to measure yourself against the players that are there, and you’re going to get some great advice from players and coaches,” Ferrandino says. “They’ll tell you where you are and let you know what you need to work on for the future.”
Top young players from across the United States and beyond will come to Waterloo this summer for just that reason. The Black Hawks 2018 Futures Camps will be held at Young Arena for players born in 2003, 2004, and 2005 as follows:
- July 26-29: 2003 skaters
- July 29-August 1: 2003, 2004 & 2005 goalies
- August 2-5: 2004 & 2005 skaters
Participants will skate in several one-hour “mini-games.” Other highlights include off-ice training, a tour of the Hawks’ locker room and facilities, and a seminar on player development conducted by Black Hawks Head Coach P.K. O’Handley. Members of the Waterloo coaching staff and Black Hawks alumni will direct all activities.
The August Goalie Camp will be directed by Black Hawks Goalie Coach Chris Economou.
Registration for the Black Hawks 2018 Futures and Goalie Camps will be accepted immediately. The $450 camp fee for skaters, or $550 for goalies, must be received with a completed online registration by Saturday, June 30th.
See the Black Hawks 2018 Futures Camp and Goalie Camp registration websites for more details. A detailed session schedule will be available to participants at a later date.