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Top teenage California puck prospects to gather in Anaheim

Want a glimpse of hockey's future?

The Ducks will host their fourth annual West Coast Prospects Camp Friday through Sunday at Anaheim Ice, and you might see a future NHL star among the more than 120 players, whose ages range from 13 to 17.

The invitation-only camp will gather players from Santa Barbara to San Diego and allow them to showcase their skills for scouts and coaches from U.S. colleges and major junior hockey leagues. They'll play games starting Friday at 3 p.m. until Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and admission will be free.

More than 350 local players have participated in the camp since it began in 2007. Two Southern Californians who are expected to be chosen in this year's entry draft (to be held June 25-26 at Staples Center) attended the 2008 camp: right wing Beau Bennett of Gardena, who's ranked 32nd, and defenseman Taylor Aronson of Placentia, who's ranked 88th.

Jonathon Blum of Rancho Santa Margarita became the first California-born-and-trained hockey player to be chosen in the first round of the NHL draft when he was selected 23rd in 2007. Emerson Etem of Long Beach, ranked the eighth-best North American skater for this year's draft, could become the first California-born player chosen in the top 10.

More information on the prospects camp is available at www.hockeyprospectscamp.com or at 714-535-RINK.

--Helene Elliott

 
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