Thursday marked the third day of Prospects Development Camp. The evening session featured the full group, and here are some notables from the skate.
- Running this skate like a full team practice makes it feel like October already. (Side note: 61 days until the first preseason game against Columbus.)
- The first half of the skate was quick – a 30-minute session led primarily by “Kirk’s buddy” Tim Turk, a skills coach. Other coaches on the ice included head coach Kirk Muller, assistant coaches John MacLean, Dave Lewis and Rod Brind’Amour, director of defensemen development Glen Wesley and goaltending coach Greg Stefan. The second half of the skate, which ran about an hour, was headed up mainly by Muller, similar to how he runs a Hurricanes’ in-season practice.
- The intensity of on-ice activity jumped up a few notches today, as many drills were up-and-down the ice with bodies banging in front of the net and in the corners.
“We just wanted to gradually introduce stuff this week,” Muller said. “The first day was just skill level [evaluation] – seeing where they’re at with the passing, shooting and skating. And then we led more drills and introduced our system.Then after a few days like that, we try to start into more physical battling to see the hockey instincts and battle level.”
Look for the pace to be equal, if not greater, on Friday and Saturday as camp draws to a close.
“It’s a little push for them, but it gives them an opportunity to go, ‘OK, this is where I’ve got to get to,’” Muller said.
- With the jump in intensity comes inherent physicality. Elias Lindholm got crunched along the the boards, and he gingerly got up wincing. MacLean motioned him off the ice, and he had left the arena by the time the skate had concluded.
“He went off to the doctor to get evaluated,” Muller said. “He’s tough, so I’m sure he’ll be OK.”
- Ultimately, Muller envisions Prospects Development Camp as an introduction to being a member of the Hurricanes and what that means on and off the ice.
“Not every organization has won a Cup, and [Carolina has]. There are some great, quality people that were a part of that around here,” Muller said. “We want them to feel, when they walk away from this week, that they are really excited to be a part of the organization.
“They get to know their peers, coaching staff, management, everybody that’s involved. We want them leaving feeling good about themselves and knowing what they have to do to get better.”
- Tonight’s skate concluded with a shootout. Prior to the final skills competition, there were some one-on-one and two-on-two battle drills. Sergey Tochinsky pulled a toe drag move that made both benches stand up in awe. In the shootout, Austin Levi was the hero. We’ll see if he has the same magic on Saturday.
- Don’t forget to tune into CarolinaHurricanes.com at 10:00 a.m. on Friday for an exclusive live stream of the team's final closed morning practice. If you missed today’s live stream, you can watch it here.