“He earned the right to stay. He had a (great) camp,” said Sherry Bassin, Otters managing partner and general manager. “He’s a smart player and he works hard.”
But Bassin was unsure if Jenkins would return to camp Thursday.
“He’s concerned about his schooling,” Bassin said of Jenkins, 17, a senior at Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy. “We left the decision up to him.”
According to OHL rules, unsigned prospects are allowed to participate in camps after the initial 48-hour period if they pay for all expenses. The 48-hour period ended Wednesday.
Millcreek Township native Nate Miller, a 2011 ninth-round pick, wasn’t as fortunate.
The 16-year-old goaltender was among 12 prospects on the cut list, which reduced the roster to 41 players. Five other 2011 picks – goaltender Corey Foster (fourth round), right wing Brandon Johnston (sixth round), defenseman Jordan Schneider (10th round), center Blake Jones (14th round) and center Liam Walker (15th round) – also were cut.
The others were defenseman Kevin Zugec from Pittsburgh (ninth round in 2009), left wing Mark Jones (fourth round in 2008) and four free agents – center Chris Chiste, defenseman Elias Haziprodromu, defenseman Jordan Furlane and McDowell senior winger Zachary Poe. Jones didn’t practice this week because he was sick. Poe left camp after Monday’s workouts.
Zugec’s career might have ended Wednesday. On Tuesday, he said “this could be my last big thing” in hockey, since he hadn’t received interest from any other clubs. Zugec, 18, who graduated from high school last spring, said he would consider enrolling in college.
The next cuts are expected Friday.
- Victor Fernandes