Guess what day it is? It’s the third day of Prospects Development Camp, of course, and the Carolina Hurricanes of tomorrow returned to PNC Arena for another day of on- and off-ice learning. Like Tuesday’s schedule, Wednesday’s off-ice lessons were sandwiched by on-ice skates.
Here are some notes, quotes and observations from the evening practice.
-- Much like Tuesday night’s practice, scrimmaging dominated the second half of tonight’s skate. The environment is controlled and somewhat limited, but as an observer, it’s nice to get a feel for the prospects in a more game-like scenario.
For a guy like Erik Karlsson, who will make the jump from Europe to North America this season, the more experience he can get on the smaller rink now, the better.
“It’s a smaller rink,” he said. “It’s a different game. Big, heavy guys. People like to hit. In Sweden, you have a little more space and time. You have to be quick. We’ve learned a lot this week about being quick in our head, and I’m feeling good.”
-- Sergey Tolchinsky is worth the price of admission. Just like he did Tuesday night, he stunned the crowd with his filthy mitts, this time breaking in all alone and scoring a between-the-legs beauty. Enjoy.
“It just has to end up the in net. It doesn’t matter how. He’s a dynamic young guy. He’s going to be fun to watch and fun to see through the exhibition season,” head coach Bill Peters said. “Special skills. He skates well, and he’s got a real good hockey mind. He’s got a chance.”
-- Though this is Rasmus Tirronen’s first development camp with the Canes – he was signed by the team in March – he is the elder of the group, seven years older than some of the camp’s youngest participants. He’s got a pretty sizeable presence in the crease at 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds, and it will be interesting to see how he figures in to the organization’s goaltending picture this season.
“I’m older, but a couple of the guys have more experience coming to these camps. So far, it’s just been a good experience all-around,” he said. “It’s all about preparing us for the next level. A lot of valuable lessons in terms of the lectures and work-outs we have off-ice.”
-- Speaking of goaltenders, I mentioned earlier in the week (http://hurricanes.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=774118) that David Marcoux was spending a good bit of one-on-one time with the goaltenders this year, an invaluable addition to camp. At one point during the practice, while there was action at one end, he had goaltenders at the other, and one or two would be in the slot, in full gear, taking one-timers on their counterpart in the crease. Though they may never see such a situation again, it was somewhat of a treat watching goaltenders stickhandle and take shots in full regalia.
“He’s been with us a lot,” Tirronen said of Marcoux. “A lot of it has been working on our puck-handling. I think that’s where we can be a big help for the team if we know how to handle the puck the right way, and the guys in front of us know how we’re going to handle the puck and where they should go. That’s been the most eye-opening thing so far working with him. It’s the detail he has about playing the puck.”
-- Today was Haydn Fleury’s 19th birthday. After a final team stretch, the practice was capped by the players (and crowd, which joined in) serenading the young defenseman with a rendition of “Happy Birthday.”
The prospects will not take the ice Thursday evening for a skate. After a closed team practice at 10:00 a.m., which will be streamed live on CarolinaHurricanes.com and through our official mobile app, the prospects will head out for an afternoon of team building away from the rink.
Fans can return to PNC Arena on Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. to take in practice before the Summerfest Celebration concludes the week-long camp on Saturday.
A full schedule and additional information regarding Prospects Development Camp and Summerfest can be found here.