Three San Jose Sharks prospects were invited to Hockey Canada’s U-20 National Junior Team Development Camp this summer in Calgary, Alberta. The camp, which closed this past Monday, ran from July 22-28 and featured 44 of Canada’s top young players.
The Sharks sent first round entry draft selections forward Devin Setoguchi (2005, eighth overall), defenseman Ty Wishart (2006, 16th overall) and 2005 second round selection defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic
(35th overall) to the camp. While all three were excited to be among those invited, only Vlasic and Wishart were able to showcase their talent.
Setoguchi, who attended last year’s development camp, was forced to sit out this year due to an injury. However, he remained positive and kept his focus on the upcoming Pacific Division Shootout and the Sharks camp, both of which he participated in last season.
“I made the decision to sit out of the national development camp so I could heal and be at 100% heading into San Jose,” said Setoguchi. “I’m really just looking forward to having a good start and going as far as I possibly can.”
Setoguchi had an impressive Pacific Division Shootout and Sharks camp last summer and is eager to be on his way back to San Jose to put what he learned last year into practice.
“Camp was really eye-opening and it was a great experience,” he said. “Being there, seeing the pro guys and talking to them, it has really given me more confidence and motivation to get to that level.”
Also motivated and looking forward to the Pacific Division Shootout is Marc-Edouard Vlasic
. Still riding the high of capturing the Memorial Cup Championship this past season with the Quebec Remparts, Vlasic used the week-long camp as an opportunity to refine his skills.
“The level of play is higher than what most of us are used to,” said Vlasic of the skill showcased at the development camp. “The reaction, the play, the passing and the skating are all a lot quicker. So adapting to those things will help me in future.”
Like Setoguchi, Vlasic also had an impressive rookie camp last summer. In fact, both Setoguchi and Vlasic finished last year’s Pacific Division Shootout tied with Sharks left wing Milan Michalek for most points on the team, each posting four points.
“I’m very excited and looking forward to camp,” said Vlasic. “I’m looking to be a little more aggressive and a little more physical and do many of the same things I did last year. My objective is to stay as long as I can at the big camp.”
Wishart spent his week playing and practicing opposite Vlasic at the three intra-squad scrimmages at the Canadian national development camp. Like Setoguchi and Vlasic a year ago, Wishart looks to join other members of the Sharks 2006 draft class at their first Pacific Division Shootout, showcasing their talent for coaches and fans for the first time as a member of the Sharks organization.