BROSSARD – The Canadiens’ annual Development Camp continued on Wedensday morning as prospects and invitees took part in off-ice training drills before meeting the media.
At 4 p.m., players in attendance will hit the ice at the Bell Sports Complex for the second intra-squad scrimmage of the week. For players, these simulated games are a good indicator of their progress and afford them the opportunity to showcase their skills to the Canadiens brass in game situations.
“It’s a development week. We’re here to develop,” affirmed Mac Bennett, who was selected 79th overall by the Canadiens in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. “This time around, we get to play games and it’s really helpful. We get to play again today, then tomorrow, and then on Friday, so you kind of get to see where you’re at in terms of your development. You come in hungry every time. I still feel like I have something to prove. With all of the coaches here, you can really pick everyone’s brain and ask questions like ‘What do I do in this situation?’ or ‘How should I do this?’ I think that’s really good for everyone.”
In addition to inviting players to their camp, the Canadiens also welcomed several QMJHL coaches as well, including Eric Veilleux of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar and Dominic Ducharme of the Halifax Mooseheads, both of whom are coming across some familiar faces.
“We’ve got four guys here,” affirmed Veilleux proudly, referencing former Drakkar players Charles Hudon and Jeremy Gregoire, among others, both of whom were drafted by the Canadiens. “We’ve got Imma, too, and Ranger, who is going to Chicoutimi but still played with us for two years. It’s fun to see them go. It’s a good experience for them, too. It’s a special feeling to see these players suit up for the Montreal Canadiens.”
Ducharme shared similar sentiments as his coaching colleague.
“It’s an incredible experience being here,” offered Ducharme. “When you’re in the coaches’ room, we talk about preparing upcoming practices and what we’re looking to accomplish, but we also talk about a variety of situations we go through during the year. We’re always asking our players to challenge themselves, push their limits, and, for us, it’s the same thing as coaches.”