Carolina Hurricanes prospects returned to PNC Arena for the second day of Prospects Development Camp on Tuesday, which was book-ended by two on-ice sessions. The closed morning sessions featured skills work in two groups, after which the prospects received off-ice instruction about social media, finances and more.
The group was back for a full team practice in the evening. Here are some notes, quotes and observations from that skate.
-- In the first half of the skate, which was largely dominated by drills, head coach Bill Peters had a good bit of teaching moments. But that’s what this week is all about.
“I think the guys were a little more relaxed (today), especially the guys who are here for the first time,” Peters said, assessing the second day. “It gets better as the week goes along. Some guys haven’t been on the ice a whole bunch, and their hands come along.”
“I’ve learned a lot. It’s been really good competition here,” Noah Hanifin said. “All the guys are here working hard and playing really well.”
-- The second half of tonight’s on-ice session featured scrimmages of the five-on-five, four-on-four and three-on-three varieties, different environments for which the prospects could shine.
“We want to see their skill come out. We were able to see that today in some of the drills we did. We want to see the ability to skate, and I think we have a real good skating group here,” Peters said. “It’s always nice to scrimmage a little bit. I liked watching the four-on-four and three-on-three especially. You see some hockey sense in that.”
“It was nice being able to scrimmage a bit tonight,” Hanifin said. “It’s nice just to get out there and play some hockey.”
-- Sergey Tolchinsky had easily the highlight of the night in the three-on-three. He dangled, waited, waited and waited before roofing the puck for a goal that drew plenty of “ohhs” and “ahhs” from the crowd of around 300 fans who took in tonight’s skate.
Tolchinsky seems basically built for three-on-three where there is no shortage of space on the ice for him to do Tolchinsky things.
“He skates well. I thought he really skated well tonight, and he does have that flare. He’s a guy that has a lot of confidence with the puck,” Peters said. “We’ll see how his game transfers to the pro game.”
-- The Hurricanes have a big defense in the pipeline: Noah Hanifin, Haydn Fleury, Roland McKeown, Brett Pesce (who has yet to skate), Jaccob Slavin and Tyler Ganly, to name a few. These are all big boys who can move the puck and will develop in the organization.
“I think we’ve done a real good job in the last couple of drafts and some of the guys that were already in the cupboard on the back-end are impressive to me,” Peters said on Monday. “Eventually we’re going to have a D-corps that’s homegrown and some bigger, puck-friendly guys that are up in the rush. That’s the way we want to play.”
And it’s not just the defense that stands out from a size perspective. It’s all of the players on the ice. For fun, here is a comparison of Canes prospects in camp:
- 2015 skater average: 6' 1.25", 192 lbs.
- 2015 goalie average: 6' 3.75", 206.25 lbs.
- 2012 skater average: 6' 0", 177.5 lbs.
- 2012 goalie average: 6' 1", 193.5 lbs.
“They’re big and strong early. They’re in great shape at this time of year, and it’s only going to get better by the time they come to main camp. It’s impressive. They’re 6-foot-3, 210 pounds and 7.5 percent body fat,” Peters said. “We’re going in the right direction, there’s no question about that.”
-- A lot has happened in two days for this group of prospects, and tonight’s energy level was high. A good night’s sleep waits.
“It’s been a long two days. A lot of work,” Hanifin said. “I’ll probably go back to the hotel and pass out.”
Wednesday’s schedule again revolves around on-ice activity in the morning and evening. The morning session, a team practice, will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will be streamed live on CarolinaHurricanes.com and through our official mobile app. The evening session, another team practice, begins at 5:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
A full schedule and additional information regarding Prospects Development Camp and Summerfest can be found here.