Whistler brothers attend NHL training camps 

Goalie Beck skated with Capitals, defenceman Will with Canucks

click to flip through (2) PHOTO BY PATRICK MCDERMOTT - CAPITAL IDEA Whistler's Beck Warm competed at the Washington Capitals training camp this month.
  • Photo by Patrick McDermott
  • CAPITAL IDEA Whistler's Beck Warm competed at the Washington Capitals<0x2019> training camp this month.

Whistler's Warm brothers got the opportunity to skate alongside some of the world's best hockey players earlier this month.

Each twin received an invite to an NHL club's main camp: goalie Beck with the Washington Capitals and defenceman Will with the Vancouver Canucks.

Will said he found out a couple of days before that he was invited to camp, but at least didn't have to travel, as the Canucks were holding camp in Victoria, where Will plays with the Western Hockey League's Victoria Royals.

"It was really last minute, but I was just grateful for the opportunity. I just really tried to take in the experience for what it was," he said.

In his second camp after skating with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017, Will spotted some differences between the two. He said conditioning is a major area of focus for Canucks head coach Travis Green, so Warm got a clear message of where he needs to be to crack the NHL.

"It was probably harder than the Vegas camp," he said. "A huge thing at [Canucks] camp was just conditioning. Both were good experiences in different ways.

"One of the biggest things was just how much work it does take. All the guys in the NHL, you can tell who they are just from how they prepare for practice, and how hard they work on the ice and how they take care of their bodies after," he said. "They never just show up to the rink to practice and leave right after. They spend hours getting ready and taking care of their bodies after."

Warm was placed into a group primarily populated with players anticipated to make up the Canucks' American Hockey League (AHL) squad in Utica, as opposed to stars such as Bo Horvat or Elias Pettersson. His big takeaway was that he has the skill set to compete for an AHL job next season when he ages out of junior hockey.

"It's not that far away, and I was comparing myself to them out there and felt like I can play with those guys. It was really great for my confidence and made me realize that if I have a good year this year, it's an attainable goal for next year," he said.

This year is Will's first on Vancouver Island after spending the past three seasons with the Edmonton Oil Kings. An offseason trade sent him west, closer to home.

"Victoria has been incredible so far. It's a really solid group of guys and everyone in the organization, from the GM to the coaches, to the therapist and equipment managers, everyone's just solid people," he said. "It's really nice, being able to be closer to my family, and my parents and my older brother will be able to come out to a lot more games, so it'll be really nice."

Warm said the possibility of being traded was in the back of his mind, as he was entering his age-20 season and his former team, the Edmonton Oil Kings, could only keep three of its 20-year-old players.

"I was kind of expecting a trade. I wasn't really sure what was going to happen, and when I found out it was Victoria, I was just super pumped," he said. "Each team is only allowed three 20s, and we had a lot of guys in Edmonton, so I kinda figured that I was going to get moved."

Injuries limited Will to just 33 regular season games in Edmonton last year, and he's hoping for a bounce back with the Royals. Scoring just two assists in 2018-19, he'll look to reach the heights of the 24-point season he hit in his rookie year in 2016-17.

"I'm still feeling things out here in Victoria. Hopefully I'll take on a bit more of an offensive role and be able to play power play, but I'm just rolling with it," he said. "I'm putting my best foot forward and we'll see what happens."

Will and the Royals suffered a 6-0 loss to the Everett Silvertips in their first game of the season, with Will picking up six penalty minutes in the defeat.

Beck, meanwhile, had a more settled offseason, but a bit further to go for camp, joining the Washington Capitals for their development camp in June before returning for main camp.

Though Beck took part in Canucks development camp with other prospects in 2017, it was his first experience at a main camp, and it featured many of the same faces that came away with the 2018 Stanley Cup such as Hart Trophy winner Alexander Ovechkin and Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby.

"It was a great experience. It was a super fun time and it was an honour to be at that camp, make it to main camp and be among all those guys," he said. "I played against them in intrasquad games and practice and whatnot. It was awesome.

"It's guys you grew up watching on TV, and probably future Hall of Fame guys. It was a really good experience. Seeing the way they act off the ice and on the ice was just so professional."

Like his brother, Beck will look to join the pro ranks after this season and after making strides in Capitals camp, feels ready to do it.

"I just realized that I'm not too far away and I went there and proved that I can make that jump to pro hockey. I think I showed really well," he said.

Beck had a quick turnaround from Washington, D.C. to Washington state, leaving the capital on Thursday and leading his junior team, the Tri-City Americans, to victory the next night.

"It was nice there wasn't too much of a break in between. I got home and played the following night," he said. "It was a quick turnaround, so not too much time to think about the change in level."

Warm helped Tri-City to a 4-2 opening-night win over the Everett Silvertips before getting pulled in a 6-1 loss to the Portland Winterhawks.

"We're going to have a good team this year and it should be a really good year," he said.


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