Matthews native Bryan Moore is one step closer to realizing his dream of playing in the National Hockey League.
Moore was invited to participate in the New York Rangers’ prospect development camp, which began Monday and runs through Friday in Tarrytown, N.Y. He is the first Charlotte-area player to participate in organized activities with an NHL team, according to Charlotte Checkers vice president of communications Paul Branecky.
“To be out here on the ice and in the training center of the Rangers ... it’s a dream come true,” Moore said in a phone interview after the first day of camp.
Moore wasn’t drafted and is one of 37 players invited to the camp. Other attendees include current Rangers prospects and players taken in last week’s NHL draft.
A 5-foot-11, 185-pound left winger, Moore spent the past two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, a premier Canadian major junior league. Moore had a career-high 61 points on 25 goals and 36 assists this past regular season with the Sarnia Sting and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
In his third and final year of draft eligibility, Moore, 20, was ranked for the first time by Central Scouting as the 195th-best North American skater.
Josh Wesley became the first North Carolina-developed player drafted when the Carolina Hurricanes took him in the fourth round Saturday.
“It’s a good thing for our state, just showing that the hockey is getting better each year,” Moore said about Wesley being selected.
Moore was on the way to a wedding last week in North Carolina when he found out he was invited to the Rangers’ camp. His parents, Eric and Chris, grew up in New York as Rangers fans.
“It’s even better knowing all my family grew up here and they’re huge fans,” Moore said.
Moore, who played with the Junior Checkers and served as a stick boy for the Charlotte Checkers, said the first day of the camp included fitness tests in the morning and a scrimmage later in the day.
“I had no clue what the game speed was going to be like in that game. I just said I was going to go as hard as I could,” he said. “Probably the funnest game I’ve been in. ... I feel like I played pretty good.”
Moore hopes to impress coaches at the camp enough to earn a contract with the Rangers or another NHL team, but if that doesn’t happen he plans to keep pursuing the dream.
“I’m never going to give up. I’m going to keep working,” he said. “My goal is to be in the NHL one day. ... Whatever it takes, I’ll give.”
Inscoe: 704-358-5923; Twitter: @CoreyInscoe
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