First, the disclosure. Yah, it's one day in the life of a young player and what BadHab witnessed today may or may not reflect anything about the future of the player(s). The BadHab was disappointed because he only witnessed some stickhandling drills, battle drills and some basic break out plays for 2 on 2 and 3 on 2's, no scrimmage to be seen. Major bummer.
They broke the camp in half, white jersies, black jersies and each group did the stickhandling drills separately. All 3 goalies stayed out the whole time.
The stickhandling drills. They use a couple of those sweethands things and the player had to skate between them and toe in backhand and foerhand. Linus, Blidh, Camara and O'Gara were the best at it. Linblad was terrible at it (knocked over the training aid more than once), as was Hargrove and Grzelcyk - or so I thought (see disclaimer), late in the stickhandling drills I noticed that Grzelcyk was only using his upper hand to stickhandle with, maybe to challenge himself extra? I don't know, but just shows to go ya, things aren't always as they appear. Interesting note on Arnesson, when he first did it, he was awful, just awful, then got his head around it to the point where 3rd time and one he was one of the best. Also interesting was that when the players who did the drill quicker caught up to the player in front of them, they just waited for the player to finish. Arnession didn't wait for a moment, but went back and did the drill again instead of just waiting. I think that's pretty positive and professional - let's not waste any time and make the most of the time. I was impressed, but your mileage may vary (see disclaimer). Another misconception, I thought Carpenter was embarrassed by his mistakes in the drill, but then I realized he had a sunburn. (see disclaimer).
Then they had a drill where they stickhandled 2 pucks at once, a basic drill I think every player has done. The goalies did the drill, too. And I was SHOCKED to see that Subban was just horrific at it. Horrible. My guess is he's never done it before and couldn't get his head around it, he hit a puck like 10 feet forward, took the other puck over to it, missed the puck, it was comical looking back at it... I was stunned because I know he played out of the net for years. And Subban was stunned, too. Obviously embarassed, he started to do a lot of stickhandling, shooting on net and etc. From that moment on in practice he started doing stickhandling drills every opportunity again. I found it kind of funny because there you had a goalie appearing in stickhandling drills every now and then. Actually, I thought it was pretty positive and showed how competetive he was by trying to master that drill. OK, and I'll beat Chowda to it, yah a goalie handling 2 pucks at once is a skill that rarely occurs in games situations and it's a pretty meaningless thing. And I'll revise that statement, to the best of my knowledge a goalie having to handle 2 pucks at once in a game has never occurred, ever in hockey at any level anywhere. Anyways, take it for what it's worth (not much or nothing), but I think it does show that he is dedicated and proud. A good thing I think.
Both white and black teams came out for the rest of the drills after making ice. Crappy ice today, but no surprise since it's 100% humidity and 125 degrees out.
Battle drill. This was a dud and they didn't do it very long. It was dumb because they had the defenseman about 10 feet in front of the forward right about at the dots. Then they would shoot the puck in coming clean off the boards just to the side of the net. Almost every time the defenseman could simply pick up the puck and escape without having to battle at all. Dumb drill. And they gave up on it quickly. This is of note because it's the first time I've seen a drill flop in dev camp. I wonder if they have had any coaching changes because this is the first time I've seen a drill flop - and the first time I have seen something stupid.
For the 2 on 2, 3 on 2 drills etc. OK, see disclaimer. It was a bad day for all the goalies (Subban, Gothberg, Morrison), they were getting lit up like Christmas trees and pinball machines combined. Or we have a bunch of snipers. If it didn't pretty much hit the goalie and it was on net, I would say 75% of those shots went in. Subban has one nice glove save.
Players that I saw with some very nice snipes, and I mean SNIPES that got the crowd to go oooohhhh! - everybody. I mean everybody, including the smallest kid at camp Fitzgerald off the wing snapped one short side on Subban off the post after giving the subtlest fake ever at passing to the center. Didn't see Griffin get one, but then they had the drill going on both ends of the ice - breaking out from one end to the other - both at the same time, so it was hard to take it all in at once. Other nice snipes that stick in my mind, Dempsey, Hargrove, Sherman, Fehrlin, Camara.
Other notes; Dempsey, as I said, some nice snipes, and he (shockingly) looks fat to me, I was thinking Stan Jonathan 70's era when the guys were packing some extra pounds.
whup! There's Subban practicing stickhandling again! (just to give you guys a taste of what it was like...)
Anyways, smallest at camp, Fitzgeral at 5'9" 170, but I would bet anything he's 160.
Grzelcek is listed at 5'9" 170, but he seems bigger, maybe 180 I would say, and wouldn't be surprised if he's grown a little taller, too.
Arnesson seems bigger than 6'2" 187, he looks like he's near 200.
O'Gara seems bigger than 6'3" 185, he looks closer to 200 also.
Same for Ferlin, listed at 6'2" 201, he looks 10 lbs bigger.
Tallest at camp is Sherman listed at 6'5" 206, he looked 10 lbs heavier, too. Also, he did pretty well at the stickhandling drills and has a (wow!) quick release. I mean wow! To the point where I was surprised by his shot a couple of times.
Other roster notes;
Blidh is pronounce "Bleed"
Subban wore number 81 (gross! reminds me of Kessel, ok you migh say Satan, but still a horrible number for a goalie)
Hargrove had number 66, I would hate that if it were me.
2 most changed players from the last time, Ferlin and Camara.
Ferlin, he's not "raw" anymore, he looks smooth out there. He's blended into the crowd more and doesn't have that pure athletic talent combined with fish out of water look anymore. Maybe a crappy description, but last time if I said who's the athletic kid from Florida with genetically built in hockey sense, you would point him out if you didn't know his name. Not so anymore.
Camara, Chowda is messing with BadHab. This is NOT the same Camara who was at camp last time. Totally different guy then last time. This is some kind of trick.
Bummed not to see a scrimmage! Or at least when I left at about 2 o'clock and had been there since 11 am, I guessed that they would skate 3 hours max, plus I had stuff to do...
No one jumped out at me as being NHL ready or *significantly* better than everyone else, but I would surprised if they didn't get a couple or 3 AHL guys at least (of course out of the guys eligible), possibly more.
Oh, and I didn't see a bad skater in the bunch, true, no skating drills, but all the same the level of skating at camp certainly has been going up year after year. And quality of players is going up year by year.