The preparation is almost complete for the Halifax Thunderbirds.
They will hold an intrasquad game at the Scotiabank Centre on Friday, wrapping up their training camp schedule. The teams will be made up of players who are either signed by the National Lacrosse League or are hoping to land a roster spot.
The split squads will be Purple vs. Orange, the franchise's two base colours.
The notable players for the Orange squad are Graeme Hossack, Kyle Jackson and Luc Magnan, who were all alterate captains with the Rochester Knighthawks last season. The Knighthawks relocated to Halifax to become the Thunderbirds.
Hossack was named the NLL defensive player of the year the past two seasons and was Rochester's team most valuable player in 2018-19. He was fifth in the league in loose balls (164), tied for eighth in caused turnovers (25) and was third points among defencemen (24).
Magnan was third on the Knighthawks in loose balls (108) and Jackson tied for the team lead in goals
Other key players for Orange are Austin Shanks, Colton Armstrong and Warren Hill.
The leaders for Purple are Cody Jamieson, Ryan Benesch, Brad Gillies and Jake Withers. Jamieson was the Knighthawks' captain and leading scorer last year and has been named team MVP three times. He also won league MVP once and NLL finals MVP twice, and is a member of the franchise's all-time team.
Benesch recently received the franchise player tag for the Thunderbirds. This will be his 14th NLL season and is 10th all-time in league history in assists (577) and 11th in goals (433).
Gillies is a defensive standout and Withers led the league in face-off percentage (.749) last year.
Nonkon Thompson, Clarke Petterson and Trevor Smyth are rookies to keep an eye on for Team Purple.
The Thunderbirds open their inaugural season on Dec. 7 at home against the New York Riptide.