The Vancouver Canucks 2013 Prospect Development Camp began at Rogers Arena Sunday and for some of the 38 youngsters it was a first taste of the professional game and a chance to skate on the Canucks home ice.
One of those players eager to hit the ice for the first time a member of the Canucks was 2013 4th round pick, Jordan Subban, who got some helpful advice from his older brothers, both NHLers, P.K. and Malcolm.
“They just said ‘don’t stress,'" said Subban. "I’m just going to try and enjoy the experience and have fun with it.”
At the other end of the spectrum is Frankie Corrado, who’s attending the camp for the third time in his young career.
“Every time I’ve been here I’ve always been the young guy, but this time I think it’s a great chance for me to show my leadership skills and guide some of the other guys, as other guys did for me,” said Corrado.
Getting back on the Rogers Arena ice felt good for the 20 year-old defenceman, who got just a taste of the NHL life during last season.
“It was nice to get some time off after a long season, but I would have liked for it to have been longer,” said Corrado who got back in the gym six weeks ago after playing 89 games split between his junior clubs and the Chicago Wolves and the Canucks.
“You know, you’ve never been here enough times to stop learning and I just hope to learn new things about myself each time.”
Sunday began off the ice with the Canucks training staff pulling out the measuring tapes, stop-watches, weights and, of course, the dreaded stationary bikes.
It was a quick turnaround for 2013 9th pick overall Bo Horvat, who just arrived in Vancouver for the first time on Saturday.
“It was a tough morning, a lot of tough testing, I can feel it in my legs already,” laughed the stocky centreman.
After the doctors and training staff were finished with the players, it was time to split up into two groups of the on-ice testing.
The players jumped on the ice after lunch to find it had been littered with cameras and more trainers with stop-watches and iPads. They were then run through a gauntlet of skating drills meant to measure their speed, stride, turning and pivoting ability.
A few, like Brendan Gaunce and Corrado, were hooked up to heart monitors connected to computers spitting out their breathing rates, heart rate and countless other readings. Corrado took quite an interest in his readings, joining the doctors on their separate bench.
“Under Coach Tortorella there’s going to be some different testing," said Corrado. "It seemed like some pretty challenging stuff, but you prepare for it and just do your best.”
While the skaters were stretching their legs out on the ice, the goalies were stretching just about everything else off the ice, in a yoga session.
It will be a busy week for the Canuck prospects, who will be dragon-boating, climbing up the grueling Grouse Grind and visiting BC Children’s Hospital before scrimmaging on Thursday.