It’s the middle of July, but the ice is down in PNC Arena for the Carolina Hurricanes’ annual Prospects Development Camp, the first day of which is now in the books.
After arriving in Raleigh last night, the group of 27 prospects spent much of the morning at Athletes’ Performance Center in medical testing and training.
Monday evening marked the first on-ice session of camp. Here are some notes from the full team skate.
-- Seventh overall draft choice Haydn Fleury is just a few weeks removed from turning 18 years old. And he’s huge. He measures in at 6-foot-2, and you can imagine what adding skates does to that build. Once he fills out his frame, he’s going to be a redwood.
“I just want to keep getting stronger,” Fleury said. “I’m just trying to soak in as much information as I can this week to take back to Calgary for the rest of the summer.”
He also skates pretty well for a big guy.
“He’s smooth. Very poised, and good feet,” head coach Bill Peters said of Fleury. “I thought he looked real good.”
-- Ultimately, this week is about learning: learning how to prepare on and off the ice, learning how to train the right way and learning what it takes to be a pro. That said, though, these guys are hockey players, and they just want to get on the ice. Today was a long day for the group, but that didn’t show in the heightened pace of day one.
“We got up early this morning working hard, and it’s good to get on the ice again and get the feet going,” said defenseman Kyle Jenkins, the Canes’ 2014 seventh-round pick. “I’m excited for the rest of the week.”
“The pace was good for this time of year,” Peters said. “I don’t know how much on-ice they’ve done. A lot of guys are in different stages of development in their offseason lifting weights and doing other things, so I thought they battled through it.”
-- Daniel Altshuller took a shot up high late in the skate that rattled him for a bit. But, he’s a hockey player, and he finished the session in net. The Canes are already down one goaltender in camp, with Alex Nedeljkovic unable to attend due to a broken thumb.
-- Defenseman Jaccob Slavin has gotten noticeably bigger since being drafted two years ago. Officially, he’s added 10 pounds, and there’s definitely more meat on his bones now that he’s 20 years old. Slavin competed on Team USA’s World Junior team last season, notching two points in five tournament games.
-- This was the first skate in which we’ve seen head coach Bill Peters in action. He was a commanding presence, and I can’t wait to see what training camp has in store.
“I was looking forward to this week,” he said. “It’s good to get on the ice and spend some time with the coaches, too.”
-- Coaches also on the ice included new assistant coach Steve Smith, assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour, director of forwards development Cory Stillman and director of defensemen development Glen Wesley.
Peters said he plans on being on the ice for just 20-30 minutes each session, then letting his assistants and Stillman and Wesley take over from there for forward- and defensemen-specific drills, including individual and one-on-one work.
His impressions from day one?
“It was good. A lot of skill and some good size,” he said. “I thought some of the D-men were real good moving the puck and had good feet. I thought it was impressive. For a group that has never done anything together, basically, I thought they moved the puck well.”
Tuesday’s schedule features a day of team-building away from the ice, and we’ll bring you full coverage on all of our usual web and social platforms.
The general public can get its first look at Prospects Development Camp on Wednesday evening. A full schedule for the week and additional information is available here.
Lastly, join us on CarolinaHurricanes.com or through our official mobile app on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings, as Amber Jaye anchors exclusive live coverage of closed on-ice morning sessions.