BROSSARD -- The 2016 edition of Canadiens rookie camp opened in Brossard on Thursday. There were 27 players present at the Bell Sports Complex who underwent medicals in the morning before taking part in a first official skate in the afternoon.
- A number of prospects were participating in their first rookie camp, including Mikhail Sergachev, who was selected in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft in June. Despite the high expectations surrounding the ninth-overall pick, Sergachev is focused on the task at hand.
"Today was a good skating day -- it was fast, and we did a couple of drills," commented the 18-year-old following Day 1. "I just want to play in the rookie tournament and see how I compare to the other guys there. I want to show what I'm capable of to the coaches and the management. That's my first goal."
Video: Sergachev on his first day of rookie camp
- While Sergachev gets his first taste of rookie camp, other Habs prospects, like Michael McCarron, are back for second -- or third -- helpings. Now 21-years-old with 20 NHL games under his belt, the Habs' first-round pick from 2013 returns as a mentor of sorts to some of his younger counterparts.
"It's funny because a lot of the younger guys have come up to me to pick my brain a bit. It feels good, because when I was younger, I was too shy to ask guys like [Nathan] Beaulieu and [Louis] Leblanc for advice," admitted McCarron. "This summer I focused my body on getting ready for an 82-game season. It really is a grind, and it's tough. I was tailing off at the end of last season and I'm making sure that doesn't happen again. I'm ready to go."
Video: McCarron on his summer training
- Also present from the 2013 draft class is Artturi Lehkonen, who signed his first professional contract last May, notably coming off a record postseason in the Swedish league for goals-scored.
"I'm looking forward to proving that I can play on this size of rink. I know it's much smaller than in Europe, but I came here to show what I can do," underlined the 21-year-old. "Every hockey player wants to play in the NHL, and I want to earn a spot on the team. I know what I can do, I'm confident in my abilities, and it all depends now on how well I perform."
Video: Lehkonen on transitioning to NHL rinks
- Following practice, the prospects hit the road for London, ON ahead of Friday's first game of the rookie tournament at Budweiser Gardens, opposite rookies from the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.