By Kyle Shohara
|"It's every kid's dream to put on one of those jerseys, even if it's in a little game against L.A. It's pretty big for me."
-- Shea Theodore
The second day of rookie camp has come to a close at Honda Center, and the attention now focuses on the SoCal Hockey Futures Game against the Los Angeles Kings prospects.
Tomorrow’s contest will be the first time many of Anaheim’s prospects have seen game action since the end of their respective seasons. And for some, it will become another instance where dream becomes reality.
“It’s our first game wearing a Ducks logo,” said a bright-eyed Shea Theodore after the second day of rookie camp. “It’s every kid’s dream to put on one of those jerseys, even if it’s in a little game against L.A. It’s pretty big for me.”
Theodore, who just turned 18 last month, was Anaheim’s 26th overall pick in last June’s NHL Draft and is coming off an impressive season with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League. Theodore earned 50 points (19g/31a) in 71 games with the Thunderbirds last season, ranking eighth among all WHL defensemen in scoring, and second among team leaders in assists and third in points. Theodore also won gold with Team Canada at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and registered five assists en route to gold at the 2013 Under-18 World Championship. He also won a gold medal with Team British Columbia at the 2011 Canada Winter Games.
“Experience,” he said, when asked what he’s hoping to take out of tomorrow’s game. “Take some notes from the veteran guys and just soak everything in. I hope it’s a good game.”
Joseph Cramarossa, Anaheim’s 65th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, knows tomorrow’s game is an opportunity to take the next step in his development. “It’s just a chance to prove myself,” he said. “I worked hard this summer and had a good year last year. It’s time to make that step. I’m going to do what I can and see if they like what I’m showing out there. Everyone had a long, hard summer and it’ll be fun to see how it turns out tomorrow.”
Another player looking forward to tomorrow’s game is Devante Smith-Pelly, who has appeared in 56 career NHL games with the Ducks since being drafted in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. Smith-Pelly appeared in 49 games with the Ducks in 2011-12, but only skated in seven games last season. He spent the majority of the 2012-13 season with the Ducks’ American Hockey League affiliate in Norfolk. Smith-Pelly knows this is the time to make his push for a roster spot.
“I’m trying to bust my way into the lineup, and it starts tomorrow,” he said. “I know everyone is thinking the same thing. You don’t want to get left behind, so you better be ready tomorrow.”
Much like teammate Emerson Etem, Smith-Pelly is using rookie camp as a way to get a head start on main camp next week. “No matter how much you skate at home, I highly doubt anyone is skating this intense. It’s good to get the rust off, it’s good to get the hands going, and just get ready right into camp.”
Additional info regarding tomorrow’s SoCal Hockey Futures Game at Honda Center
The game (and parking) will be free of charge to the general public, with doors opening at 5 p.m. (6 p.m. start time).
For those not able to attend the game, it will be streamed live in its entirety on AnaheimDucks.com.
Following the game (traditional three period, 60-minute contest), all players will participate in an autograph session inside Honda Center (for all fans). More details will be available closer to the game.