The Columbus Blue Jackets will conduct development camp for 23 of the clubâ€™s prospects, including its top two picks selected in last weekend's 2006 Entry Draft, from Wednesday, June 28 through Monday, July 3 at the Dispatch Ice Haus. The development camp will begin with medicals and fitness testing today before five days of on and off-ice workouts commence on Thursday. On-ice workouts, which are open to the public, will be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Thursday – Friday and 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday – Monday.
Among the players attending the camp are first round draft picks Alexandre Picard (2004), Gilbert Brule (2005) and Derick Brassard (2006), as well as second round picks Joakim Lindstrom (2002), Adam Pineault (2004), Kyle Wharton (2004) and Adam McQuaid (2005). In addition, the club's second pick in the 2006 draft, goaltender Steve Mason, who was taken in the third round, 69th overall, will be participating.
Picard, a 6-2, 190-pound forward from Les Saules, Quebec was selected eighth overall by the Blue Jackets in the 2004 Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut with the Blue Jackets last season, registering 14 penalty minutes in 17 games. He added 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points with 52 penalty minutes in 45 games with the American Hockey League's Syracuse Crunch in 2005-06, which marked his first pro season. He played four seasons in the Quebec Junior Hockey League with Sherbrooke and Lewiston, tallying 93-104-197 and 289 penalty minutes in 206 games. In 2004-05, Picard collected a career-high 40-45-85 and 160 penalty minutes in 65 games with Lewiston.
Brule, a 5-10, 180-pound forward from Edmonton, Alberta, was selected sixth overall by the Blue Jackets in the 2005 Entry Draft. He began last season with the Blue Jackets, registering 2-2-4 in seven games and missing 39 additional games due to injury. After returning to the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League, he notched 23-15-38 and 40 penalty minutes in 27 games. He then earned Most Valuable Player honors in the WHL Playoffs as he racked up 16-14-30 in 18 games to lead all players in scoring and helped the Giants advance to the Memorial Cup Tournament. In 165 career WHL games, Brule has tallied 87-98-185 and 309 penalty minutes.
Brassard, a 6-0, 180-pound forward from Hull, Quebec, was the Blue Jackets' top pick, sixth overall, at last weekend's 2006 Entry Draft. He tallied 44-72-116 and 92 penalty minutes in 58 games with Drummondville of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2005-06, earning First Team QMJHL All-Star honors and the Michael Bossy Trophy as the league's best professional prospect. In 137 career QMJHL games, Brassard has registered 69-124-193 and 117 penalty minutes.
Click here to view the Development Camp Roster.