Sorry about the hiatus, but last week was a busy one with Development Camp. So today, I will try and give a pretty full report…
In comparison to last year, this was a younger and a bigger group at our camp. We added some size and skill to the mix. I was pretty impressed with the players ability to execute. At this time in the summer, players aren’t always that sharp, but I saw a lot of good passing, skills, and shooting.
We finished off camp with a 4-on-4 scrimmage, which got pretty physical. The players were all certainly tired after a long week, and given how much open ice there is in a 4-on-4, it was a little surprising to see it get that physical.
Here is my take on a couple of the guys in camp, and the week’s that they had: Brad Marchand
- He’s a really competitive kid. He’s played on a high level of international competition and has done well. He always plans to win with the team he’s on, so I really like his competitive nature. He’s going to do everything he can to make the team this season.
Blake Wheeler - This week was really my first time seeing Blake up close and personal. He was working really hard. With a guy with his size and his ability, it’s really nice to see him working out this hard at this stage in the summer. He came into camp in great shape and showed us some good things.
Matt Marquardt - When I was with Ottawa, Matt was playing tier 2 in Ottawa, and we actually brought him to camp and tried to sign him. He went back and played with Moncton and was subsequently drafted by Columbus, so I’ve tracked him. The biggest thing with him is his conditioning, and he came to camp in very good condition. He has a pro shot. You can’t find too many shots like he can shoot the puck. Also, when he keeps his feet moving and drives the net, he’s a big body.
Mikko Lehtonen - Mikko is another big kid who can skate. Sometimes he gets a little bit fancy, and I would say it’s a good characterization to say he plays a wide-rink game, but he is tremendously skilled, and we don’t want to take away from his skill. We just want him to play a little more north-south. I am happy that he is definitely going to play in North America this year.Zach Hamill
– I saw good improvement out of Zach during his second camp. He’s gotten quicker, he’s gotten stronger, and it was nice to see.
Besides development camp, we’ve got to sign a couple of guys and we’ve got to keep on top of the conditioning of the roster players. It’s more just maintenance over the summer months before we get closer to camp.
I’ll try to check in again soon.