After spending the afternoon away from the rink on Thursday for some team building, Carolina Hurricanes prospects returned to the ice on Friday for the fifth day of development camp.
As has been the case, the team spent some time on the ice this morning before breaking for lunch (and headshots). The group of 20-plus got back on the ice in the evening in front of a collection of hockey-hungry fans.
Here are some notes from that skate.
-- It may be day five, but the competition level and pace of camp was still being pushed higher and higher. At one point in a one-on-one drill against Haydn Fleury, Josh Wesley crashed hard into the boards. He got up no worse for wear, but it’s good to see the compete level remain even after a grinding week’s worth of work and learning on and off the ice.
“It’s been awesome. I’ve learned a lot,” Wesley said. “The week has just been flying by.”
-- Wesley is one of the “veterans” in camp this week, in that he has been here once before. From an adjustment standpoint, the familiarity is beneficial.
“It was a lot easier knowing the guys and what to expect,” he said. “I’m definitely still nervous walking into the locker room, but I just have to prove it out on the ice.”
-- As the week moves along, you can tell there’s camaraderie building amongst the group of prospects, and it was abetted by team building away from the rink on Thursday.
“Everyone is meshing together here,” Slavin said. “We can all get along with each other, so it’s really nice. There are some fun guys here, for sure.”
“They’ve been awesome,” Wesley said. “On the first day, it’s kind of quiet, but once everyone breaks out of their shell, it’s a lot of fun. The energy is really high in here. All the camaraderie in here is great.”
-- There was no scrimmaging tonight, as the skate seemed to be more systems-focused, which will be beneficial to the group of players that will be heading to Traverse City for the NHL Prospects Tournament and those returning to Raleigh for training camp in September.
“It’s been a good experience. It’s a great group of guys here, and it’s been hard work,” defenseman Jaccob Slavin said. “Learning some of the systems is very important, especially going into training camp in September.”
-- There are only two nets on the ice, but the Canes have four goaltenders in camp this week. Goaltending coach David Marcoux has been a busy man.
“Dave’s done a good job with them. They were real good here today and real competitive in the games we played,” head coach Bill Peters said. “It’s been an eye-opener for some of them with the puck handling and the amount of emphasis we put on the goalie-D exchange.”
-- If you were wondering, the nickname “Sea Bass” is still a thing. And it still makes me laugh.
Saturday’s Summerfest Celebration will bring this week to a close. All the fun – which includes an autograph session, a scrimmage, a State of the Canes discussion hosted by Chuck Kaiton, a Canes Insider panel and more – begins at 10:00 a.m. and lasts until 2:30 p.m. Parking and admission are free.
For the hockey side of Saturday’s event, which lasts from noon to 1 p.m., expect to see 15 minutes of four-on-four, followed by 15 minutes of three-on-three 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. Rosters for this Red-White tilt can be found here.
“It’s been a long week. There is going to be some skill on display,” Peters said. “I think the fans will enjoy it. The guys have had a good, hard-working week. A lot of things being introduced to them. I think it will be fun for them to just go out and play.”
All of the details and a full schedule for Saturday’s Summerfest Celebration can be found here.