For the Sharks prospects attending the club’s development camp from now through Friday at Sharks Ice at San Jose (the camp is closed to the public), Tuesday was a chance for returning prospects to skate with many other future Sharks recently acquired via the draft or free agency. It was also the first time many had been on the ice in a serious professional setting.
“I try to find ice when I can,” forward Tony Lucia
(a sixth round pick in 2005) said, “but you don’t get guys playing at this level.”
The Sharks know everyone’s abilities after watching them closely during the season. However, San Jose is more focused in how they can improve the players’ skills, or in some cases, improve the weaknesses.
“It’s more preparation to build on,” forward Julien Demers, a 2008 fifth round pick, said. “They want to see our development between now and when we come to camp.”
“It’s a lot of development,” Mike Moore
said. “It provides things to work on. They show us the right way to do things and it’s up to us to do it more.” The 23-year-old defenseman was signed as a free agent this year after being named Male Athlete of the Year at Princeton University.
Prospects are trying to grasp a lot of information in a short time frame. And it can be easier for those who are on their second go-around.
“The talent level here is so good,” Lucia said. “For the first time, guys who haven’t been here before, they don’t know what to expect.”
The players won’t get to see much of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, but if all goes well in camps like these, that can change down the line when they earn an NHL job.
“We’re not here to be tourists,” Lucia said. “We’re here to get better.”
“We’re excited to be here and it’s what we want to be around,” Moore said.
The participants are also honing their skills at one of the National Hockey League’s top team training facilities.
“The facilities,” Demers said, “are ridiculous.”