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Team Yellow Takes Rookie Camp Title

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
Team Yellow won the Preds 2010 Development Camp tournament on Sunday. After spending the start of the week with on-ice drills, off-ice workout sessions, and team building exercises, on Sunday the players were split in to four teams for half-ice three-on-three games. Jonathon Blum, Nashville's 2007 first round pick, was teamed up with five collegiate prospects, including Notre Dame teammates Ben Ryan and Ryan Thang, Ohio State forward Taylor Stefishen, Wisconsin forward Craig Smith, and RPI defenseman Jeff Foss. After winning the final period, Team Yellow skated a lap around the ice with the Championship Trophy. Ben Ryan and Ryan Thang were dangerous on the offensive end, while Blum was a steadying influence in both offensive and defensive situations.

In general there was an impressive skill level at camp this year, both among the skaters and the goaltenders. While Team Yellow took the title, several other prospects stood out during Sunday's scrimmages. Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, and Michael Latta also turned in impressive individual showings. Ellis has long been complimented for his offense (and he didn't disappoint in that area), but beyond the offensive skill he showed a physical edge banging along the boards and in front of the net. Josi looked poised both in his offensive and defensive assignments. He rifled a couple of shots from the point during the three-on-three drills, and then turned around and matched up on the defensive end, both shutting down passing lanes and locking up in one-on-one battles in front of the net and in the corners. Latta also turned heads today. He showcased a strong power forward game -- driving hard to the net with and without the puck, landing some big hits along the boards, using his body to ride player off the puck when he was on defense. There was a "NHL-type" intensity watching Josi and Latta battle one-on-one in front of the net.
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