Friday evening marked the final team practice of the Carolina Hurricanes’ Prospects Development Camp.
Here are some notes on this evening’s skate.
-- It’s been a long and tiresome week for this group of guys, but the spirit was high and there was a good bit of whooping and hollering, especially toward the end of the skate when they played some competitive scoring games.
“Wednesday was kind of the hump. We’re just taking it all in,” forward Phil Di Giuseppe said. “It’s been a hard week, but we worked hard. We’ve got a game tomorrow, so it should be fun.”
“These guys have worked hard all week, on and off the ice,” head coach Bill Peters said. “I think they’ve gotten better every day. They’ve gotten better with the puck, the hands have gotten smoother, and it was a good day today. I’m very pleased.”
-- Di Giueseppe and Brock McGinn had a beautiful sequence in a two-on-two drill. McGinn spun a backhand pass to Di Giuseppe through the defending Tyler Ganly and Jacob Slavin, and Di Giuseppe promptly finished it off. Then, Di Giuseppe sniped one top shelf from the far circle. The two had a celebratory glove tap after the drill ended. That could be a dynamic duo in Charlotte this upcoming season.
“He’s a great kid off the ice, and as you saw on the ice, it’s fun playing with him,” Di Giuseppe said of McGinn.
“He showed a lot of good offensive things. He’s not afraid to take the puck to the net, and he showed good hands,” Checkers head coach Jeff Daniels said of Di Giuseppe. “From the glimpse I saw of him, he has some skill.”
“He skates, he bangs bodies and he’s got some finish,” Daniels continued on McGinn. “We’re excited to see him turn pro.”
We’ll have more in the near future on Di Giuseppe, McGinn and others that are turning pro this season.
-- A puck skittered through one of the corner camera holes during one of those two-on-two drills. It’s notable because I’m not sure if we’ve ever seen that casually happen. Anyway, it did, and McGinn was equally as baffled as we were.
-- Head coach Bill Peters was on the ice for more than half an hour today. He remains a vocal, commanding presence – expect to see plenty of that come September. Joining him were the usual cast of characters: assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour, Daniels, director of forwards development Cory Stillman and director of defensemen development Glen Wesley.
Shane Willis and I joined Amber Jaye this morning on Summerfest Live, our live-streaming show that featured an exclusive look-in at closed on-ice sessions of camp. If you missed this morning’s episode, which runs just over 20 minutes, you can check it out here.
Summerfest and Prospects Development Camp will be capped on Saturday with the Summerfest Celebration, which is free and open to the public. The fun will begin at 10 a.m. with a prospects autograph session; the arena will open an hour prior for wristband distribution to the first 500 fans in line. John Forslund will host a half-hour State of the Canes discussion with Coach Peters at 11:15 a.m.
At noon, the prospects will take the ice for the final time for a scrimmage (two 15-minute periods with whistle stops) and a shootout. Peters said the first period would be played five-on-five with the second at four-on-four. Here’s the red/white split for Saturday’s tilt.
And here’s Peters on what he thinks he’ll see out of the group on Saturday’s finale: “I expect to see some energy and some guys trying to leave one lasting impression.”
Everything you need to know about Saturday’s Summerfest Celebration can be found here.