TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Landon Ferraro is hardly long in the tooth.
At this week’s development camp, however, the 20-year-old speedy winger can definitely be considered a wily veteran.
Center - GRAND RAPIDS (AHL)
Goals: - 9 | Assists: - 11 | Pts: - 20
Shots: - 87 | +/-: - Minus-6
Ferraro is currently taking part in his fourth Red Wings’ summer camp, giving him senior status amongst participating forwards. The former Western Hockey League star – with Red Deer and Everett – has come a long way since his first camp at which he was brimming with nerves as he sought to make a good first impression upon Wings’ management.
“The biggest thing is my comfort level,” Ferraro said on Sunday when asked about the difference between his 2009 development camp experience and now. “I remember when I was here at 17 I was just so excited that my hands were shaking. I was anxious to prove that I belonged here. Now I’m much more comfortable. I know everyone. If I don’t understand a drill or something I know the coaches well enough to ask them to ask about it.”
Detroit’s top pick – second round, 32nd overall – in the 2009 NHL draft, Ferraro’s professional career officially began last season when he produced nine goals and 11 assists in 56 games in Grand Rapids. While he was unable to replicate the lofty scoring totals he put up in the WHL – he scored 37 goals in his draft year with the Rebels – Ferraro was nonetheless pleased with his rookie season with the Griffins.
“I think I got better as I went along,” says the Trail, British Columbia, native of his freshman AHL campaign. “It was tough at the start of the year, making the adjustment from junior, but right around Christmas I felt like I took a big step forward and was a lot more confident with the puck. I started to get points more consistently and I was happy with how I finished before getting hurt at the end of the season.”
Now healthy and looking to build upon the progress he made in the second half of 2011-12, Ferraro sees this week’s proceedings in Traverse City as a good opportunity to continue his development and an ideal spot at which to kick-off his pursuit of a successful sophomore season in the pros.
“My goal for this camp is the same as the last two years really – to show that I’m improving and to make sure I’m taking something out of every on-ice session and (off-ice) workout. I want to take advantage of this week the best I can and continue to develop my game.”
Ferraro will be back in action alongside 40 of his fellow aspiring NHL stars on Monday morning at Centre Ice Arena. More information on the 2012 edition of Red Wings development camp can be obtained by clicking HERE.