Carolina Hurricanes Prospects Development Camp chugged along on Friday morning with an hour-long team practice at PNC Arena.
Here is a collection of notes, quotes and observations from today’s skate.
-- As has been the case for much of the week, there was good pace and compete during today’s skate. Thursday was a long day spent entirely at the rink, bookended by on-ice instruction. The group responded late this morning with a good hour’s worth of work and a variety of drills: one-on-ones, two-on-ones, corner battles and races for the puck at center ice, among others. There were also a couple of individual shootout attempts; if unsuccessful, the skaters did sprints, but if successful, the goaltenders did sprints.
-- During a two-on-two drill, two Canes 2016 draft picks hooked up for a nice little play. Janne Kuokkanen kicked the puck out to the point to Jake Bean. Kuokkanen then cruised through the middle of the ice and tipped in Bean’s shot.
“Kuokkanen is outstanding with pace and hockey sense,” head coach Bill Peters said. “Bean’s hockey sense is unbelievable.”
-- Forward Valentin Zykov, who the Hurricanes acquired from Los Angeles at the trade deadline this year, uses his 224-pound frame to his advantage. He protects the puck and works his way to the front of the net.
“Real excited about Zykov’s ability to play a heavy game down low in the future,” Peters observed.
-- Speaking of that ability to barrel toward the net, he and Julien Gauthier did that in a race for the puck at center ice in a one-one-drill. The two players sped down the ice and then got tangled up. Gauthier went tumbling into the net and dislodged it from its pegs. Once he got to his skates, though, he was no worse for wear.
“He loves to score,” Peters said of Gauthier, the Canes’ 21st overall pick. “He’s going to take it to the net, get into the dirty areas and pay the price net front. That’s what he does, and that’s what we need.”
-- Rod Brind’Amour coordinated the on-ice activity today and joining him were Steve Smith, Glen Wesley, David Marcoux and Curtis Joseph. Ulf Samuelsson was en route to Charlotte, where he was introduced to the media as the team’s new head coach this afternoon.
As he did on Thursday, Peters again observed from the stands and discussed individual performances with Assistant General Manager and Director of Hockey Operations Mike Vellucci
and Director of Amateur Scouting Tony MacDonald.
“It’s been fun to sit upstairs and watch them play, watch the pace they play at and some of the skill level,” Peters said. “It’s been very good to get to know them a little bit as people but also watch them play.”
“Oh, lots,” he said with a grin before rattling off a handful of names. “There’s something in everyone that gets you excited. … We’re so much deeper now than we were two years ago at this time. It’s night and day.”
-- Nicolas Roy did not skate again today due to illness, but Peters said he may give it a go tomorrow.
“No sense putting him on the ice,” Peters said. “He worked out here today. Physically unbelievable growth. He’s stronger, bigger and leaner. He’s put the hard work in and had a great year.”
-- That does it for on-ice work today.
After headshots and afternoon seminars, the boys will head to Durham to take in a Bulls game. First-round picks Jake Bean and Julien Gauthier will be tossing out the first pitches.
This week will draw to a close on Saturday with the Summerfest Celebration. The event – which includes an autograph session, a scrimmage, a State of Canes discussion hosted by Michelle McMahon and featuring Ron Francis and Bill Peters, a Canes Insider Panel and more – begins at 10:00 a.m. and lasts until 2:30 p.m. Parking and admission are free.
The hockey aspect of the Summerfest Celebration will last from noon until 1 p.m. Expect to see 15 minutes of 4-on-4 play followed by 15 minutes of 3-on-3 play and capped with a five-man shootout. There will be a running clock, penalty shots for penalties and goals scored in the shootout will be added to the teams’ scores to determine a winner.
“I think you’ll see some more goals and a little bit more skill on the ice,” Peters said. “If there’s contact, so be it. It’s been a long week. These guys have had some long days, boy.”
All of the details and a full schedule for Saturday’s Summerfest Celebration can be found here.
is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.Email