The Vancouver Canucks' prospects had their last on-ice portion of development camp at UBC on Thursday. We caught up with Josh Bloom and Jackson Dorrington who found a lot of value in a smaller group at camp this year.

The day's on-ice portion included breaking off into forwards and defencemen for drills, followed by a scrimmage and shootout.  

This is Dorrington’s third development camp in Vancouver and the first with the new format of individual skill work and a smaller group.

“It’s been a good week and a lot of fun. I think it's different because I got to make more relationships with some of the guys and the coaches because there's less guys here this year,” Dorrington said.

Over the offseason the 6-foot-2 defenceman wants to continue to improve his speed and grow the offensive side of his game. 

Dorrington was on Team White, coached by Daniel Sedin and Mike Komisarek, and he demonstrated the work he’s put into his game, scoring one goal and adding one assist during the scrimmage.

With fewer players, Dorrington believes the individual skill work was one of the highlights for him and there was a lot more off-ice learning than in the past.

“There was a lot of learning and we got learn some from impressive people. Obviously, the development coaches have all played and have tons of experience. We heard from an RCMP Inspector, which was awesome to learn how he builds his teams, and then we did an improv class yesterday, which was pretty fun,” Dorrington said.

Bloom also mentioned a panel Q&A session with the Sedins, Komisarek, and Mikael Samuelsson as something that left an impression on him during development camp.

“I thought it was a great idea. They talked about things you don't usually hear about from their careers and, and how they went through it and how they went about it. It was cool to hear that side of it and hear about their day-to-day and different challenges through their careers,” Bloom said.

“We were asking the four of them questions and it came around to Hank and the question was something like ‘What would you tell everybody in regard to playing in the NHL,’ and his answer was ‘Be patient’. I took that from Hank and I thought that was a really deep one-word answer with a lot of meaning behind it and I kind of related to that,” Bloom said.

Earlier in the week, body position skill work was followed by small area games and Bloom liked being able to implement it into a game-like situation right away and get that instant feedback.

“Working on skills that we can directly apply into our summer training is so valuable. We also worked on different ways we can work out, different nutrition and the mental side of the game. I think it's great for everybody to get familiar with the organization and apply these things in their summer programs,” Bloom said.

The 21-year-old forward is working on his strength this offseason and a session with the Sedins reinforced the importance of that. Bloom recalled Henrik and Daniel sharing that 80 percent of hockey is protecting the puck and using your opponent’s strength against them, so strength is key.

Dorrington and Bloom were big fans of the on-ice skill sessions, and they gained a lot of knowledge about the game with more off-ice time at this year’s development camp. They’ll be putting the work in on their own over the summer, following their individual plans and armed with plenty of knowledge from the development staff.