On the second day of Prospects Development Camp, the Carolina Hurricanes had a pair of powerskating sessions, the first with the defensemen and goalies and the second with forwards. Here are some notables from Wednesday evening.
- These powerskating drills look like they’re going to hurt tomorrow. There were a lot of lunges, leg kicks and backwards skating.
“Oh, definitely,” Austin Levi said. “The groins will be a little sore tomorrow, that’s for sure.”
- The lesson began sans sticks – just the players and their skates. Sticks and pucks were then slowly reintroduced.
This, of course, was purposeful.
“I’m not teaching basic skills out here. I’m teaching high-end skating for the game,” said Kim Muir, the powerskating instructor who worked with the Charlotte Checkers this past season. “We try to make sure that we teach the kids how to the do the drills without the puck, with the puck or in a game situation.”
- Ryan Murphy does these drills with incredible fluidity and effortlessness. Of course, after I noted that, he not so gracefully caught an edge.
- All three goaltenders – Daniel Altshuller, Charlie Millen and Collin Olson – were on the ice for this session doing the drills in their full equipment, which almost seemed unfair.
“Sometimes you look a little goofy, but it helps out with our balance,” Altshuller said. “Sometimes you’re in those tight situations where maybe you have to throw in a twirl or two to make a save.”
- Coaches on ice during this session included Muir and her assistant and Tim Turk, “Kirk’s buddy” from Tuesday. We’ll have more on Muir and the concept of powerskating in Thursday’s feature story.
- Brody Sutter was skating beside Sergey Tolchinsky. I don’t have a photo to illustrate the discrepancy, but just imagine: 6-foot-5, 203 pounds beside 5-foot-9, 160 pounds.
Later, during a drill in which one player had to pull another from behind, Sutter had a more comparable matchup, as he tried to haul a 6-foot-3, 205-pound David Pacan.
- Aside from the attempted restraint drill, the other that grabbed my attention was one in which players had to, for lack of a better term, hop down the ice on their skates. It was unreal to watch the balance many of them had.
“Your legs feel it a lot more,” Sutter said, when asked to compare a powerksating session to a regular practice. “As long as you stay focused, you can get a lot out of it.”
- Coaches on the ice for this session were the same: Muir, her assistant and Turk.
Odds and Ends
- At the end of both sessions, Muir gave each player a hug.
“You know, [hugs] are free, right?” Muir said. “When you make a connection with someone, that’s what it’s all about.”
- The drills run in each session differed quite a bit; the defensemen honed their backwards skating while the forwards focused more on quick feet while stickhandling.
This, again, was purposeful, but Muir said that over time, the two sessions would blend in an effort to mold more well-rounded players.
“You can never be more marketable than to be a two-way player,” Muir said.
- Thursday evening’s camp sessions will get back to skill development. Don’t forget to tune into CarolinaHurricanes.com at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday and Friday for an exclusive live stream of the team’s closed morning skate. If you missed today’s live stream, you can watch it here.