Ottawa Senators goaltending coach Rick Wamsley offered up his thoughts on the current crop of goalie prospects participating at Development Camp.
The team had scheduled a goalie-only session for 9 a.m. this morning and we caught up with Wamsley after he spent some time with each of the four netminders at camp.
On Chris Driedger's progress:
His presence this year is the best it's ever been. He's come in in better shape and I think he knows what to expect here. The first two years it's fair to say that he really didn't understand what he was getting into. This is his third year that we've worked together so he knows me and he knows what's expected now. You can see he's done his homework coming into this camp. He finished last year going 6-0 I believe in Binghamton which gives him a real good start on this season. He's just a more mature goalie from what I've seen.
On working with O'Connor so far:
It's been good. I'm still kind of getting to know him. It's one thing to go watch guys play than to get on the ice with them and really see what they can and can't do. This is as much as a learning week for me to see what he can do and where he needs help. So far, there have been a couple of areas that I've identified that we'll work on this week. Going forward, I feel he's going to be a real good goalie for us. There are a couple of areas that he needs to work on and we've had a few situations already where we talk about it and then he'll go and implement it. So far, so good.
On O'Connor's strengths:
I think he reads the game really well. He knows where the next play is. What we're going to work on is getting that at another level for him to appear a little quicker than he is or make the game slower than it is for him. If I can slow the game down for him by showing him a couple of things, he'll get to pucks quicker.
His thoughts on Marcus Hogberg:
Big, strong kid. Every trip to North America he makes he's been looking better. It's a little more "pound on the goalie" over here where in Europe it's a little more "passing and flow" so you can see that Marcus is really good in tight like most European goalies are but has a bit of an issue when the shot comes just beneath the top of the circle. To me, he needs to use his hands a little more than he does but he's a big, strong kid with lots of tools.
His first impression of Joel Daccord:
He's a good skating, good hands, smart goalie. His father's a real good goalie coach in the Boston area so obviously he's well-schooled. I like how smart he appears, really like his hands. He's probably got the best hands of the group that's here this week. His feet can improve a little bit but his skating's pretty good. I like what I see.
On his overall impression of the Sens goalie prospects:
I think the talent level of the group is really good so if you want to be at the top of that group you're going to have to compete your way there.