We caught up with Sens head coach Dave Cameron to get his thoughts on the team's 2015 Development Camp and which prospects made a good impression...
On the work that goes in to putting Development Camp together:
First and foremost, the job that Randy Lee does with it along with all the staff, the coaches, the gentlemen that drive the vans, the folks who make all the meals, the speakers we bring in...it's just a huge amount of work. To bring in 30+ guys in here and run it for a week just proves how good a staff the Ottawa Senators have. Terrific job done by Randy and his staff for organizing the week.
On the prospects in attendance:
I think we're like most NHL teams, we have a good mixture of prospects. Some we drafted, some we signed as free agents, college players, Canadians, Americans, Europeans...but I really like the skill level that was here. I also got to know them and we've got some pretty good people as well. It's an exciting time for them. Now there's a 2-3 year window and it's up to them to take all the information we've given them and make themselves pro players.
On his role at Development Camp:
I just want to get a look at them and be able to categorize them and find out which ones are closer than others in terms of possibly being an Ottawa Senator. When I see them in training camp I can put a name to the face and have an idea of what they're capable of bringing. The big thing for me is I know where they are now in terms of their development and I just want to see them back here year after year to see who's working and who isn't.
On players that stood out to him during Development Camp:
For me, it was a lot of the guys who played last year with us like Puempel. Then it's guys like Max McCormick who's been a pro for a couple of years and Nick Paul who's a real good Junior player and played a key role for Canada's Junior team. If somebody asked you who your first call-up was going to be those would be the guys you'd probably say but it's still a long time between now and training camp and as the year progresses we'll see who puts the work in. And I'm sure there will be more guys added to that list...Tobias Lindberg, who just won a Memorial Cup, his compete level has greatly improved. Most of these guys have real good skill, it's the other intangibles that they're going to have to take away from here and a big, big one is the fitness.
On evaluations at Development Camp:
The one thing that we do when we're evaluating is that we leave ourselves open to change. This is an evaluation that's based on the first week in July and before the next evaluation takes place they're going to have until early September to improve so we'll re-evaluate again during Rookie Camp.
On gauging which prospects might be able to help the NHL team:
The end goal is "what is it going to take for this player to play for the Ottawa Senators?". You can't get very specific though because often it's "what jobs are available with the Senators?". There's really only going to be 2-3 openings at the most so when you're looking to fill those spots it's about finding the best guy to fill that role. If you lose a high-end guy on the top two lines, Max McCormick's not going to go in and fill that role, he's more suited to the checking or shutdown lines so it's always about what's available and who you can slot in there.
On the 2015 Draft Class at Development Camp:
This is really my first chance to see them on the ice. There's a pecking order obviously, the first guy you pick in the Draft is the guy you pick for a reason but these are arbitrary number we put on them when they're 18 years old based on what they have at that point. I like the overall skill from our drafted guys, Colin White is obviously a real good skill guy. It's a good opportunity for these guys to come in and show us what they've got.