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Meet this year's official Guelph Storm 'surprise of camp'

Free agent camp invitee Colin Campbell saw an opportunity and seized the moment to make the Guelph Storm roster

Here's to second chances.

Colin Campbell got one to kickstart his junior hockey career this year and has taken full advantage of it.

The 18-year-old Mississauga native is the unofficial "surprise of camp," the guy that comes out of nowhere and takes advantage of the chance to earn a contract.

The Storm signed Campbell and he has looked very good in three pre-season games.

They include the Storm's first win of the pre-season Monday afternoon, a 5-2 showing over the Mississauga Steelheads at the Sleeman Centre.

"When I signed it's probably the best news I've ever heard. I was so happy," said Campbell after Monday's game.

"The team and the staff have been so welcoming. I like the environment on this team."

As a free agent, Campbell could have tried out for any team. But he had heard good things about Guelph and liked the opportunity it offered, being so many openings on defence. He also liked that it was close to his Mississauga home.

"I met with George at the first (prospects) camp and then I wanted to come to the main camp. I know a couple of guys who have played in the league (Sean Durzi and Mason Primeau) and they say it's a great place to play.

"I just wanted to come to camp and do my best," Campbell said. "I just wanted an opportunity to make this team and a chance to show my skills."

Campbell is the only one of 10 free agents invited to camp who made the team.

Campbell went undrafted his minor midget year, when he was 5'6". While still no giant at 5'9", it's not as much a factor any longer, particularly given how well he skates.

"I was kinda' small in minor midget and I grew a bit late in my midget year. It was tough, not getting drafted, but I think it was the best thing that ever happened to me in the long run."

He said there was some interest from NCAA teams, but he "really wanted to play in the OHL. It's always been my goal."

Storm general manager/coach George Burnett said Campbell "earned the opportunity to be here and continue the process."

"He's an outstanding skater," Burnett said. "He's made some mistakes, but they're very correctable. He plays a very intelligent game."

Guelph got goals from Jacob Maillet, Cam Hillis, Jacob Roach, Owen Lalonde and Keegan Stevenson in the win over Mississauga Monday. Owen Bennett and Nico Daws split the goaltending duties.

The Storm takes a break from game action for a couple of weeks as several players head off to NHL camps this week.

Guelph has two pre-season games left: Sept. 13 at home against Hamilton and then the next night in Hamilton.