I’m (insert coach’s name), let me be the first to welcome you to 2012 Prospects Development Camp. It’s going to be an intense, exciting week filled with oodles of activities beginning Thursday, June 27th, running until Tuesday, July 3rd. Over the next six days you will be evaluated time and time again, on the ice, in the weight room and during presentations.
This week is all about introducing you to the Vancouver Canucks and how we do business; we want to get you as comfortable as possible in as many avenues as possible so that when you do compete for a spot on the team, you can focus on your game and everything else will be second nature.
The schedule you received in your welcome package outlines exactly what you will be doing once you arrive in Vancouver and report to Rogers Arena. All the equipment you need to succeed is provided except two things: a winning attitude and unparalleled work ethic. Bring those on a daily basis and you’ll do just fine.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to prove your worth as a potential NHLer – no pressure.
(Insert coach’s name)
Shockingly they still don’t trust me with the key to the lavish filing cabinet containing the actual welcome letter those attending the 2012 Prospect Summer Development Camp will receive, so we’ll have to imagine it reads something like above.
All 35 prospects arrive in Vancouver Wednesday. They’ll settle into the team hotel, have a good meal and hit the sheets early to prepare for Day 1 on Thursday, which features everything from fitness testing and head shots, to skills demonstrations and a video presentation.
Overall there are a lot of new faces at camp this year, so many that I should apologize to HockeyDB.com for dominating the site this week. I now have a solid lay of the land and have crunched the numbers to make getting to know the 2012 attendees a little easier.
-The positional breakdown of the 35 players attending camp is as follows: 18 forwards, 12 defenceman and five goalies.
-Twenty-four players have not been drafted or signed by the Canucks (11F, 9D, 4G)
-Of the 11 players drafted or signed by the Canucks, six attended camp in 2011 (Andersson, Friesen, Westerholm, Corrado, Jensen and LaBate), four are 2012 draftees (Gaunce, Mallet, Hutton and Beattie), while Joe Cannata was drafted by Vancouver in 2009, but did not attend prospects camp last year.
-Four nations: 24 prospects are Canadian, eight hail from the United States, a pair of forwards call Sweden home and one is from Denmark (he's the guy who speaks Danish).
-Goaltender Joe Cannata is the oldest player attending at 22-years-old (Jan. 2, 1990), while Evan McEneny (here on a tryout basis) is the youngest at just 18-years-old (May 22, 1994).
-Speaking of Evan McEneny: 10 days before he was born ice hockey became Canada's official winter sport and 23 days after he entered the world, some team from New York won the Stanley Cup.
-One more on McEneny: try saying that last name three-times fast. It’s a tough one. I know the first time I say it, I’ll be like Nemo trying to answer Mr. Ray’s science question of what kind of home he lives in. “An anemonemone. Amnemonemomne…”
-Cooper Rush, who is here on a tryout basis and has the coolest name of any prospect this year, lines up as the tallest player at 6-foot-7. He tips the scale at 228-pounds, the most of any player.
-Two free agent invitees have been drafted by other NHL teams, namely Jeremie Blain (selected by Edmonton Oilers in the fourth round, 91st overall in 2010) and Mathieu Corbeil (selected by Columbus Blue Jackets in the fourth round, 102nd overall in 2010).
-Cain Franson (here on a tryout basis) is the brother of Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Cody Franson.
-Stefano Momesso (here on a tryout basis) is the son of former Canucks forward Sergio Momesso, who played in Vancouver from 1990 to 1995.
-Nolan Zajac (here on a tryout basis) is the brother of New Jersey Devils forward Travis Zajac.
-Jeremie Blain and Mathieu Corbeil squared off in the QMJHL last season; Cain Franson, Kenton Miller, Adam Kambeitz and Corbin Baldwin are WHL rivals; Evan McEneny, Alex Friesen, Brendan Gaunce, Zachary Hall and Nicklas Jensen all went toe-to-toe in the OHL.
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Follow. Follow who? Follow @VanCanucks throughout Prospects Camp for exclusive news, features and videos, behind the scenes coverage and insider insights from Brendan Gaunce.
Gaunce, Vancouver’s 1st round selection last Friday, will hijack the account throughout the week and tweet at will. Don’t be shy, tweet Gaunce early and often with any questions you have, and be sure to use the hashtag #tweetGaunce.
How involved is Gaunce in the twitter world? I have no idea. He doesn’t know he’ll be tweeting for us yet, we plan on announcing the honour to him Thursday morning. Lucky guy.
Want more Gaunce? Of course you do, you’re curious as to what this prospect is like on and off the ice so we’ve set up a live chat with him on Canucks.com for Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m.
Click here, here, here or here to get to the chat. Now bookmark the page. Now set an alarm for 10:30 Thursday morning to remind yourself about it. Now come up with some great questions for the young gun – the more creative, the better. If Gaunce answers your question, you’ll be entered to win an autographed Gaunce puck.
Here’s that link again, just in case.
Last year prospect Frankie Corrado bloomed before our eyes at prospects camp and he now has a loyal following of fans. Take note you Fantastic Frankie Followers, the defenceman will be blogging all week on Canucks.com offering a player’s view of the camp.
Darren Archibald was our blogger last season and he set the bar so high we dubbed him Darren Archiblog.
You’re up Corrado.