Have skates, will travel

John
John Browne
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Steve Yetman of Shea Heights would love to find himself in Hamilton's 'Dog house

Steve Yetman says he willing to go anywhere for a game of hockey and, so far in his rather young career, he's proven it.

The St. John's native is at home this week as he looks to earn a spot on the roster of the American Hockey League's Hamilton Bulldogs

Steve Yetman and the Hamilton Bulldogs take on the Toronto Marlies in an AHL exhibition game tonight at Mile One Centre. - Telegram photo

Steve Yetman says he willing to go anywhere for a game of hockey and, so far in his rather young career, he's proven it.

The St. John's native is at home this week as he looks to earn a spot on the roster of the American Hockey League's Hamilton Bulldogs

Yetman, a 23-year-old from Shea Heights, is on an amateur tryout with the Bulldogs, who are holding their training camp in the capital city.

This week, the Bulldogs, who are farm team of the Montreal Canadiens, will compete against Toronto Marlies and Manitoba Moose in the Iceberg Cup pre-season tournament at Mile One Centre and the Glacier in Mount Pearl. The tourney opens 7:30 p.m. today at Mile One, with Hamilton going up against the Marlies, the farm team of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Moose are the Vancouver Canucks' AHL affiliate.

Yetman, a six-foot-one, 200-pound centre says frankly, "This is pretty much my shot this week."

It's been a long and winding road for him to get to this point.

After one season with the St. John's Midget Maple Leafs, 16-year-old Yetman left the province to play for the Charlottetown Abbies of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League (MJAHL) in 2002-03. His best season in the MJAHL was a year later, when he rang up 101 points with the Yarmouth Mariners. He started the next season with Yarmouth before turning pro with the United Hockey League's Kansas City Outlaws and then moving on to the Rockford IceHogs in 2005-06, where he produced 60 points in 74 games.

In 2006, Yetman left the UHL for Europe, where he would play in Denmark and Lillehammar, Norway. The 23-year-old put up 20 points in 21 games with Esbjerg EFB of the Oddset Ligaen League in Denmark last season.

"Europe was a little different," says Yetman of his time in Scandinavia

"It's a different style of game, bigger ice surface, more of a puck-control game."

It was good experience, he says, but he'd prefer to play in North America.

Brother Pat is still in Europe

Playing in Europe is nothing new with the Yetman family. Steve's older brother, Pat, is currently playing professional hockey for Storhamar in Norway, but will be moving on to Modo in Swedish Elite League in mid-October. It will be the second such Norwegian-Swedish straddle for the elder Yetman in as many years.

Steve Yetman could have remained in Europe too, but really wants to stay and play on this side of the Atlantic.

"I want to try it over here (North America) because I know I can play at this (AHL) level," said Yetman.

"If somebody gives me a shot, I know I can do it. I've just got to go out and play hard ... play my game."

Yetman's "game" is to be a playmaker who can also put the puck in the net.

"I've got good speed and I like to set up my teammates, but I can score too. I'm an offensive guy."

And while he has no problem plying his trade anywhere, Yetman says it's "nice" to play at home for a change.

Long time, no see

"My mom and dad and my friends, who haven't seen me play in a while, will be at the games. I've never played at Mile One, so I'm looking forward to it," he said.

"I don't think there is any extra pressure on me. Hopefully, I can catch the eye of someone in the (Hamilton) organization and they'll like me and somebody will give me a break. Just that one break ... and then you get to prove yourself."

But even if he doesn't make the Bulldogs, he has no plans to hang up his skates any time soon.

"I'll play until I can't play anymore," and that means wherever a hockey job takes him.

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: American Hockey League, Maritime Junior A Hockey League, Montreal Canadiens Manitoba Moose Toronto Maple Leafs Vancouver Canucks Midget Maple Leafs United Hockey League Oddset Ligaen League Swedish Elite League

Geographic location: Shea Heights, Europe, St. John's Denmark Norway Mount Pearl North America Yarmouth Scandinavia

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  • ronnie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    all the best to you steve

  • ronnie
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    all the best to you steve