I’m (insert coach’s name), let me be the first to welcome you to 2011 Prospects Development Camp. It’s going to be an intense, exciting week filled with oodles of activities beginning Tuesday, July 5, running until Monday, July 11. Over the next seven 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 for Tuesday morning. All the equipment you need to succeed is provided except one: a winning attitude. Bring that 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)
Since they don’t trust me with the key to the fancy filing cabinet containing the real prospects welcome letter, we’ll have to imagine the 37 young guns currently in Vancouver for development camp received something like the above.
We’re well past the letter stage now, however, Day 1 is already in the books with groups A & B first taking care of the nitty gritty business prior to hitting the ice then the weights.
The jumble of fresh players are highly identifiable on the ice in jerseys, not so much in the workout room, but I’ve got a pretty good handle on who's who in the canoe. I did some number crunching, just for you, to make things a little easier.
-Of the 37 prospects in attendance, 22 are forwards, 10 defencemen and five goaltenders.
-19 players hail from Canada, four from the United States and 12 from outside of North America, including seven from Sweden.
-Forward Taylor Matson is the oldest player in attendance at 22-years-old, while goaltender David Honzik is the youngest at 17-years-young.
-At 6-foot-5, keeper Chris Rawlings (here on a tryout basis) is the tallest prospect, he also tips the scale at 210-pounds, the most of any player. At the opposite end of the scale are defenceman Joey LaLeggia and forward Brandon Tanev at 150-pounds; right winger Kellan Tochkin is the shortest at 5-foot-9.
-Sawyer Hannay, Adam Polasek, Alexandre Grenier and Karel St. Laurent (here on a tryout basis) all faced each other in the QMJHL last season; Marc Anthony Zanetti, Alex Friesen and Nicklas Jensen all butted heads in the OHL.
-Pathrik Westerholm and Ponthus Westerholm (here on a tryout basis) are in fact twin brothers, from Sweden. More on them tomorrow.
-Justin Courtnall (here on a tryout basis) is the son of former Canucks forward Geoff Courtnall.
-Brandon Tanev (here on a tryout basis) is the younger brother of Canucks defenceman Chris Tanev.
Reader, meet Nicklas Jensen. You might know him from such drafts as the 2011 NHL Entry Draft where the Canucks selected the Danish forward 29th overall.
The 18-year-old will be guest tweeting through @VanCanucks all week bringing you the goods on what prospects camp is all about.
Who is this Jensen fella? Good question, I have yet to really find that out. What I do know is that it’s his first time to Vancouver, he doesn’t know any other prospects, he’s got butterflies about camp and prior to today, he hadn’t been on the ice since the Oshawa Generals were knocked out of the playoffs this past season.
Oh and he’s sitting in Henrik Sedin’s stall in the Canucks locker room this week.
“Really? Wow, I didn’t even know that,” smiled Jensen, who hasn’t stopped smiling since he arrived in Vancouver yesterday.
“I’m very excited to be here, I can’t really explain it. For me, to come from a little country like Denmark, to come over here and be doing this with an NHL team, it’s huge.”
Darren Archibald has never blogged before – sorry, he had never blogged before today when we “asked” him to be the prospect blogger for Canucks.com.
“I’m excited to keep the fans up to date on what’s going on around here all week and maybe a little bit behind the scenes action when the boys are away from the rink,” said Archibald.
And just like that he’s finished his first entry. This guy is good, but will his work live up to the blogging Steven Anthony did last year?
Day 1: Settling in