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Prospects Development Camp: Day 2

Pace remains high in second day on ice

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

Prospects Development Camp rolled along into Thursday, and it was back to PNC Arena for a full day's worth of off- and on-ice instruction.

Leadership lectures and activities commanded much of today's schedule before the team got back onto the ice for the second day of practice. Here are some notes, quotes and observations from that session.

→ Mike Vellucci, the new head coach of the Charlotte Checkers, led the proceedings today.

"My feet are sore, I can tell you that," he joked afterward. "It's exciting. Got the blood pumping out there today. I was way better today than I was yesterday. I just didn't want to fall down. I knew all the guys in the front office upstairs were watching to see if I fell, so I wanted to make sure I did all right."

Vellucci served as the head coach and general manager of the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers for 14 seasons before joining the Hurricanes' front office in April 2014.

"I'm excited to coach. I know all these guys. … I'll help Ronnie as much as I can whenever I can," Vellucci said. "We need some stability there. It's a very important year."

Video: Prospects take the ice for the second day of camp

→ Vellucci and his staff kept the pace of today's session high by design. After a full schedule on the first day and an equally busy second day, the Canes wanted to keep their group of prospects engaged and battling.

"We wanted to keep the pace going," Vellucci said. "We tried to move from drill to drill real quick and make the pace quick."

"You try to bring intensity, speed and hard work and show what you can do" Nicolas Roy said.

The final drill of the day is one of my favorites to watch: 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 in the neutral zone. It's a small surface, and it's inherently competitive. It's a lot of fun to watch guys use their skill or size to find the limited open areas and make something happen.

"I watched the expression on Rod Brind'Amour's face when they were battling in the drill at the end. That was great. It was great to see they competed," Velluccis said. "They were battling hard. It's been a long day for them. They did a lot of stuff today and to still have that grind at the end of the day, I'm very happy with it."

→ Roy, a fourth-round draft pick of the Canes in 2015, is no stranger to development camp. Somewhat of a veteran of the group, he knows what's expected of him and what he can get out of this week in Raleigh.

"We have a lot of meetings: leadership, cooking prep, nutrition. It's all really important. I'm going to try to work on my nutrition. I already have pretty good nutrition, but those things are really useful for us," he said. "This is right at the start of the summer, and it's really intense, so you come in and know what you need to work on for the rest of the summer."

Video: Nicolas Roy: "Bring intensity"

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 208 pounds, Roy has added some noticeable bulk to his frame.

"I put on weight in the gym and tried to put the emphasis on that and my skating," he said. "I feel stronger this year."

Now 20 years of age, Roy will be turning pro this season, and after another strong year in the Quebec Major Junior League that saw the big centerman tally 36 goals and 44 assists (80 points) in 53 games, he's ready for the challenge in front of him.

"I have confidence in myself. I know I can bring offense to whatever level it is," he said. "I don't focus on next year. I focus on this summer and getting ready for next season."

→ It's an interesting dynamic in the locker room during these. You bring together a group of teenagers, and many aren't that familiar with one another. As the days go on, though, the chatter picks up and guys are a bit looser.

Video: Jake Bean: "I'm getting the most out of it"

That camaraderie will build further on Friday afternoon when the group is scheduled to take a golf outing.

"Every guy here is fantastic. We're all friends. These guys are all good friends, and it's fun to be here," Roy said. "We're probably going to be together in the future, so we want to push each other to be on another level and maybe win the Stanley Cup."

***

Friday's schedule features an 11 a.m.-12 p.m. on-ice session, which is closed to the general public but will be streamed live on CarolinaHurricanes.com. Fans can see the prospects back in action live on Saturday at the Summerfest Celebration.

A full schedule and additional information regarding Prospects Development Camp and Summerfest can be found here.

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