The future is now, as Carolina Hurricanes Prospects Development Camp kicked into gear on Wednesday with the first on-ice session of the week.
This year's camp features a group of 28 prospects, including all six players selected in the 2018 NHL Draft, 14 returning players and six camp invitees.
The players arrived in Raleigh on Tuesday and gathered as a group for the first time at a team dinner. Wednesday featured a full schedule of both on- and off-ice activities.
Here are five takeaways from day one of Prospects Development Camp.
1. Off the Ice: Medicals, Testing & Cooking
It was an early morning for the prospects, who began medicals and fitness testing at 7 a.m.
Video: Development Camp Testing
From there, the day's schedule shifted to PNC Arena, where the prospects grabbed lunch with a special guest: Justin Williams.
Then, it was off to the kitchen to learn about proper nutrition and cooking techniques.
At 5:30 p.m., it was time to hit the ice at PNC Arena.
"The first day of this is more to just get their feet wet," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "You're trying to make sure they leave with the message and understanding that this is a place where we're trying to be the best and we want to be the best."
2. Necas Already a Standout
There was Martin Necas. And then there was everyone else.
Necas, the Canes' 12th overall pick from a year ago, was flying around the ice today, and his high skill level was evident. He's bulked up, too.
"I gained some kilos. I grew up a little bit," said the 19-year-old Czech forward. "I feel like I'm better than last year. That's my goal: to make the team."
"He's grown. His game has obviously gotten better. He's gotten stronger and a little bigger," Brind'Amour said. "He's confident, a lot more confident than he was last year. That's to be expected."
Video: Martin Necas: "I'm trying to prepare for NHL hockey"
3. Svechnikov Hits the Ice
Andrei Svechnikov arrived in Raleigh on Sunday and took the opportunity Monday to get on the ice. Wednesday marked his first time skating with the group, and, like Necas, he separated himself from his peers. As the second overall pick from this year's draft, that's to be expected.
"I thought Andrei looked really good," Brind'Amour said. "You have to be careful about putting too high of an expectation level on an 18-year-old. … We're going to set the bar high for him and everybody."
Video: Andrei Svechnikov: "I'll give it everything I can"
4. Necas-Svechnikov a Tantalizing Pair
At various points throughout the evening, Necas and Andrei Svechnikov hit the ice together as a forward pair. That was by design.
"Those are two pretty important pieces to the future of this franchise, so why not get them together as soon as possible and seen where it goes?" Brind'Amour said. "Really looking forward to both of those guys and what they can do."
Necas and Svechnikov are also roommates this week.
"We're friends. Just talking to him about everything. He told me some from his experience from last season when he was here," Svechnikov said. "It's fun being with him."
"We're already good friends," Necas said. "He's a good skater. He's a sniper. His shot is really good. I think he's NHL-ready."
5. Power Skating Wraps the On-Ice Session
It had already been a long day. Then the Hurricanes ended their first on-ice session with power skating instruction from Mark Metzger, who dazzled the crowd with his fancy footwork.
"We could do it, but not as good as that guy," Brind'Amour joked.
If the legs weren't already a little noodle-like, they certainly were after the power skating drills.
"It's probably going to be an early bedtime for me tonight," defenseman Adam Fox said.
The Hurricanes' prospects will hit the ice twice on Thursday: they'll skate in two groups from 9:45-11:30 a.m., break for lunch and off-ice instruction and then return as one group for more practice and power skating at 5:30 p.m. All on-ice sessions are free and open to the public.
A full schedule and additional information regarding Prospects Development Camp and Summerfest can be found here.