BOSTON, MA -- After a long week of drills, drills and more drills, the prospects finally had a little fun and games: a scrimmage.
“It was good," said 2009 Development Camp invitee and former Boston University Terrier Jason Lawrence. "It was good to finally get some real game time in with the guys.
“We’ve been doing drills for the past two days, so it was just good to get back into game mode a little bit.”
Since all the prospects come from all over the world, most of them have never played together, so it’s understandable that people are out of position or if passes are a little sloppy.
“I think it went pretty well, but when you get a whole group of guys from all different areas and throw them together… it’s going to be a little bit off,” said Lawrence. “But I think we did all right today and it’ll probably get better [Saturday].”
Even though Saturday is the last day of camp, the prospects can always look forward to next year.
However, here’s hoping that next year’s campers are as good as this summer’s.
Don Sweeney, Director of Hockey Operations & Player Development, said he wouldn’t necessarily be rating which development camp over the last three years has been the best, but he did say that he’s been satisfied with each of the prospects because they’ve all come to work hard.
“I think we’re really happy with how the camps have gone," said Sweeney. "They’ve been different every year."
But speaking about the group this year, he said, “They’ve certainly done what we’ve asked them to do.”
“I like the flavor of this overall group.”
For sure, the 2009 camp sports more flavor than a Baskin-Robbins menu and the diversity within the 25-man roster is easy to discern.
The oldest camper is 23 and the youngest skater just turned 18.
They are from four different countries: Canada, France, Russia and the United States.
Four of the campers have family members who previously played in the NHL and one camper’s father is an assistant GM.
Two of the campers are twins.
But they all have something in common. They all played their tail's off in Friday’s scrimmage and left everything they had on Ristuccia’s ice.
Feel the burn… The end of the “off-season” is approaching for hockey players and many skaters at development camp haven’t been on the ice for an intensive workout since the beginning of their season last year.
So it’s understandable when Jeff LoVecchio, a second-year camper, said “Most guys’ legs aren’t in hockey shape.”
“We’re going pretty hard out there for two and a half to three hours in the middle of the summer.”
Clearly, they’re feeling the burn.
“Power skating at the end was pretty tough,” he said. “Our legs are all [still] pretty sore from power skating two days ago.”
Even though they’re sore, LoVecchio knows it’s worth it.
“It’s basically just to get your technique down and become a better skater,” he said.
“Today was more technique. Working on your inside edge, outside edge, balance, your 'C' cuts and doing crossovers,” said LoVecchio. “We did a lot of crossover work today.”
“On Tuesday… we did a lot of one-leg stuff, some like explosion stuff, jumping with one leg all the way down the ice.”