The Sioux Falls Stampede announced Wednesday that 25 players have been invited to training camp which begins on September 3rd.

This year’s squad is older and more experienced, with the average age of the players a year older than last year. The Herd have invited six high school aged players to camp and 13 players who skated in the USHL last season.

Among the new faces for Sioux Falls will be the head coach. Former North Dakota associate head coach Cary Eades was hired this spring as the Herd's new head coach and general manager, replacing Kevin Hartzell.

Stampede President & CEO Tom Garrity told the Sports Buffet Wednesday, “Cary's a winner and has a tremendous experience in developing young players. Fans will see Cary's team be very physical."

Another new skater is a local kid. Zeb Knutson made USHL history draft night as he became the first ever Sioux Falls born player to be drafted by a USHL team the hometown Stampede selected him in the third round of the USHL Draft.

The last two seasons Knutson played Midget Major Tier I hockey for Russell Stover in Kansas City. Prior to that, he played youth hockey with the Sioux Falls Flyers.

The roster will be trimmed to 23 players prior to the regular season opener on September 28 th in Lincoln.

Veterans returning for the Herd to camp include returning forwards Todd Skirving, Sam Rothstein and Ian Mansfield. Meanwhile, Charlie Lindgren , who recently committed to St. Cloud State, returns between the pipes for the Herd.

High school aged players have already reported to town while the rest of the team is scheduled to report Labor Day weekend.

Last season the Stampede finished 17-36-7. The Stampede’s 11 home wins last season were the fewest since the 2003-04 season when the Herd won just nine games at the Sioux Falls Arena.

Reflecting on last season, Hartzell said, “Our kids worked hard, but we just don’t quite have the poise of an older bunch of kids who score goals and bury pucks.”

It was the first time in seven years the Stampede failed to qualify for the playoffs and the first time ever head coach Kevin Hartzell missed the playoffs in his 13 years of coaching.