SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Gulls opened training camp Monday with 13 players participating in a 90-minute practice at The Rinks-Anaheim Ice.
“It’s good to get out there and get to know the guys a little bit,” said defenseman Keaton Thompson, who scored five goals in 64 games for the Gulls last season. “Obviously it’s early right now and you’re still feeling each other out, but hopefully we can keep building from Day One.”
The Gulls training camp roster consists of six players who played for the team last season, two who played for other American Hockey League teams, one who played in the ECHL, one level below the AHL, along with four players with no professional experience.
The training camp roster will grow as the Anaheim Ducks, the Gulls NHL parent team, reduce their roster to the NHL regular-season limit of 23 by the Oct. 2 deadline. The Ducks have 43 players on their roster.
The Gulls will play their first exhibition game Thursday against the Ontario Reign, the Los Angeles Kings’ AHL affiliate, at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. The teams will also play an exhibition game next Monday at Honda Center in Anaheim, with admission and parking free.
The Gulls will open the regular season Oct. 6 at Tucson. Their home opener will be on Oct. 12 also against the Roadrunners, the Arizona Coyotes AHL affiliate.
The Gulls finished fifth in the then-eight-team Pacific Division in the 2017-18 season. The Gulls (36-28-3-1) and San Jose Barracuda (34-26-4-4) both finished with 76 points. However, San Jose had 33 victories in regulation or overtime to 32 for the Gulls, the first tiebreaker, giving the Barracuda the division’s last playoff berth.