The Sharks opened their 2007 rookie camp on Thursday with just one day to practice before traveling to Anaheim for a two-game series against the Ducks.
to view photos from rookie camp.
Forward Torrey Mitchell
is taking part in his first Sharks training camp after finishing up his collegiate career at the University of Vermont.
“It’s pretty exciting and pretty intense,” said Mitchell who turned professional at the end of the 2006-07 season and skated for Worcester.
Frazer McLaren, another hopeful forward, like many junior players, has already been involved in full contact hockey.
“I came from my junior camp and we’ve been banging,” said McLaren.
Sharks Assistant Coach Rob Zettler said the staff tried to keep it simple with the prospects on opening day. Mitchell agreed.
“We just went over some systems, not too many details,” said Mitchell. “I’m sure tomorrow there will be more.”
While Mitchell was a star in college, most players in camp are stars on their current clubs.
“It’s a little faster,” said Mitchell. “The players are a little more skilled and more in control. There is less running around.”
“The pace is a lot quicker,” said McLaren.
Mitchell is one of the hopefuls who looks at the Sharks record of promoting those who deserve it and has his eye on the big prize in San Jose.
“Guys like Pavelski and Vlasic made it last year,” said Mitchell. “You make the team based on merit. It’s pretty exciting and I hope to be here this year.”
“You come in looking to make a good impression,” said McLaren. “Then hopefully you can get a spot in the organization.”
The players’ first chance to make a major impression will be in Anaheim on Saturday and Sunday.
“It will be my first experience playing against guys in NHL jerseys,” said Mitchell. “Hopefully it will be two wins for the Sharks.”
Zettler says the coaching and scouting staffs will continue monitoring every detail they can pick up in the next week, looking for those who might make a statement when the rostered players arrive.
“The first day they are getting their feet under them,” said Zettler. “You expect more every day. We’ll get a little more of a read in Anaheim.”
Unlike past years where the rookie tournament featured Anaheim, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Jose, just the Sharks and Ducks elected to participate in 2007.
“Before they had four games, now there are two to show us something,” said Zettler. “They have to do it earlier.”