BOSTON, MA -
Within Wilmington's Ristuccia Memorial Arena on Wednesday, the feeling in the building was more than "good."
In fact, just to hear the sound of ice shredding from beneath each blade for the first time since May, when the Bruins lost to the Hurricanes in Game 7, was more than exciting.
The sound and the feelings represented hope for the future of the spoked-B. And the future is exactly what Boston Bruins Development Camp is all about.
First on the ice for Dev Camp '09 were first year skaters Rob Kwiet and Ryan Button
They were quickly followed onto the rink by the rest of their fellow young prospects (clothed in bright colors of orange, blue, yellow and grey were the forwards with black jerseys for defensemen and netminders).
Speaking of young prospects – some, like Zach Hamill
, are a little bit older or more seasoned than others.
Hamill, a three-year veteran of the Bruins development camp who was Boston's first pick in 2007, remembered what it was like to be at camp for the first time.
“When I was at my first camp I looked up to guys that were older than me,” he said. “That was [David] Krejci, [Matt] Lashoff, [Martins] Karsums, guys who are obviously playing in the NHL right now.”
“I look up to those guys now and me being kind of in their role now is a little different,” said Hamill, who last season spent his rookie campaign with the Providence Bruins.
|Jordan Caron slips on a team jersey after being drafted by the Boston Bruins at the 2009 NHL hockey entry draft Friday, June 26, 2009, in Montreal. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz) |
“Knowing what’s going to happen here and what it takes to succeed in this kind of camp [is important] so experience is definitely a huge thing and luckily it’s my third time,” he said.
Hamill may feel lucky it’s his third time and he knows what to expect, but for a first timer like Jordan Caron
there are surprises all around – Including how many B’s fans will be in the stands at Ristuccia Memorial Arena.
“I didn’t know there was going to be a lot of people like this in the crowd for our practice,” Caron, Boston’s first round pick at June’s draft, said. “But I think it’s great. The fans look great in Boston.”
But the crowd wasn’t the only thing unexpected; the coaches ran power skating drills during the second hour of practice, which Caron said he hadn’t done at his Canadian junior hockey practices.
Even the University of Denver’s Joe Colborne, Boston’s top pick in 2008 and a second-year camper himself, saw drills he had never seen or tried before.
“We got to go out and do power skating. We’re supposed to be pretty good skaters and hockey players,” Colborne said as he laughed a little, “but we were slipping and sliding all over the place because they were pressuring us pretty hard.
“I don’t think any of us have done some of that one foot stuff in the jumps, but it’s all just about getting better on your edges and better on your skates and it worked pretty well,” he said.
Although Colborne had some firsts of his own at Wednesday’s practice session, he also had some wisdom to share.
“Last year I came in and I had no experience to reflect on, nothing to kind of help me on my way except what I had done before,” said Colborne. “So now I kind of know the ropes and feel a lot more confident.”
Even though he feels more confident, he says he sees some first timers going through some of the same things he did last year.
“I see a lot of the young guys going through what I did. They’re not really sure what we’re doing and stuff so if they have any questions [I try to] be there for them,” he said.
Colborne also noted that other “veterans” have stepped up to the plate and have taken on a leadership role among the other participants.
“A couple of the older guys like Zach [Hamill] and Jeff [LoVecchio], they’ve been through this all for years now and they kind of know the ropes even a little more than me,” said Colborne. “They’ve kind of taken a leadership role among the camp and I’ve just tried to help them out when I can.”
Which, of course, bodes well for the future of the Black & Gold.