CEDAR RAPIDS — An introductory PowerPoint presentation greeted players and their families at this weekend’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders main tryout camp. It was shown by head coach/general manager Mark Carlson.
The first photo in the presentation was of former Rider Adam Gaudette receiving the 2018 Hobey Baker Award. That goes to college hockey’s top player.
“Me and my brother looked at each other right away and just started laughing,” said Cameron Gaudette.
Cameron and Brady Gaudette were two of 97 players to attend camp, which concluded Sunday afternoon at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena with an all-star game. Brady played in it, Cameron did not.
They are the younger brothers of Adam Gaudette, who played for Cedar Rapids during the 2014-15 season. He went on to play three years at Northeastern University in his hometown of Boston, then signed with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks in March, playing in five games.
The boys’ parents, Doug and Tara, traveled with Cameron and Brady to town this weekend. Make that back to town.
“Adam developed here a lot,” Tara Gaudette said. “Carlson was good for him.”
“When we saw that picture of Adam at the start of the PowerPoint presentation, my wife and I looked at each other and smirked,” Doug Gaudette said. “Our boys kind of looked at each other like ‘Oh, God. Here we go, more Adam.’ They’re kind of in the back seat. But, you know, they love it. They all get along great. Adam has been calling them this weekend, checking in on them and stuff. It’s been good.”
Needless to say, it has been a whirlwind last few months for the Gaudette family, with Adam’s awesome college season (which included 30 goals in 38 games) and NHL debut. Defenseman Cameron played this winter with the Boston Advantage U18 team and forward Brady with the Northeast Generals of the North American Hockey League.
They all were able to watch Adam play in Vancouver. Now they were here in Iowa.
“It’s been crazy,” Doug Gaudette said. “Flying all over the place. But we like it. This is what me and my wife do. We just follow the kids. It’s good stuff.”
Cameron said not making the RoughRiders will be motivation when next spring rolls around. Brady hopes to make the initial cut, though that doesn’t guarantee a roster spot in the least.
The club will go through the summer with variations of a roster.
“High-intensity camp. Absolutely,” Brady said. “I thought I played hard, I think I’ve got a good chance, hopefully. I blocked shots, did what I had to do. I know all about Carlson. Adam just told me I had to play hard for him. He knows.”
“I’d like them to play here, if they could,” Doug Gaudette said, about his youngest sons. “The coaching style was good for Adam, put him in the right direction. You know, have some fun, but it’s more like business, too. I want that for these two guys, too. We’ll see what happens.”
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