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Bombardir, Fenton thrilled as development camp concludes

McBain, Bouramman honored with awards as new GM's first camp with club wraps up Sunday

by Dan Myers @DanMyers /

ST. PAUL -- Development camp is a labor of love for many, but perhaps no more than for the Wild's director of player development, Brad Bombardir.

Weeks and months of planning go into the week-long event in downtown St. Paul, and with another camp in the books following the final scrimmage of the week Sunday night at Xcel Energy Center, the Wild's front office members will now go about evaluating exactly what they saw.

"The kids this week, they worked," Bombardir said. "Once in a while, you have a few guys you have to kind of kick a little bit to get going, but they all worked this week. They all got along, they all had fun."

Perhaps more so than any other aspect, Bombardir said he was most pleased with the way the group came together.

In all 43 players were at this year's camp, all from differing backgrounds. Some are draft picks of the organization, while others were invitees. Some have played professional hockey; others have not.

Regardless of those differences, Bombardir said he loved the way the group's chemistry developed.

"They actually got together and gelled together quickly," Bombardir said. "A lot of the times, it takes maybe two or three days. But even the first night, they had volleyball over at Lord Fletcher's and they started to bond and get together. They were a close group this week, and that's huge for us."

For Wild General Manager Paul Fenton, it was his first opportunity to see Bombardir in his element. 

Video: Bombardir and Fenton recap Development Camp

"I just like the professionalism [Bombardir] used with all these kids all week," Fenton said. "It was great to see their work ethic, the camaraderie. And as it progressed, you got to see how all of them bought in and the excitement they have."

After spending two decades in Nashville, Fenton said it was interesting to see how a different organization chooses to conduct its development camp.

Some have camps in the immediate days after the draft and invite only select players and no invitees. Their camps may last just a few days.

Others, like the Wild, have large groups and the camps last upwards of a week.

There is no right way or wrong way to do things, only different ways.

"It just depends on what your style is," Fenton said. "I thought [this camp] was run really well. We'll probably talk about it here as we go on and see if there's anything that meshes that we think we could change or even some things we could add."

One newcomer and one veteran were honored with the week's awards, as forward Jack McBain was named the camp's hardest worker, while defenseman Gustav Bouramman was named its most improved.

McBain, a third-round of the Wild last month (63rd overall), offers a tantalizing mix of athleticism on a 6-foot-3, 201-pound frame. The fact he was honored for his work ethic only has the club more excited about his future.

Tweet from @mnwild: Hardest worker of #mnwild Development Camp on & off-the-ice is Jack McBain!

 "He just likes to work, and he loves the game," Bombardir said. "He was out on the ice this week asking questions. He just loves to try and work on his game. You can tell he wants to be a player."

The award for Bouramman, finishing up his fourth development camp since being drafted by the Wild in the seventh round (201st overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft, has been a long time coming.

Bombardir said it hasn't always been easy for the 6-foot, 190-pound defenseman, but he came to camp this year in his best shape since the club drafted him three years ago.

Tweet from @mnwild: 👏 Gustav Bouramman named Most Improved of Development Camp

"We're ecstatic for him," Bombardir said. "He's had to learn to work. He always comes in in good shape, but this year, he came in really good shape, he added probably 10 or 11 pounds of muscle, his body fat remained virtually the same. On the overall testing, he was maybe third in the camp, which is great. [I'm] just really excited and happy for him because ... he showed us that he's taking it really seriously and wants to try and make himself a player." 

Video: Development Camp Scrimmage 2 Highlights

Video: Minnesota Wild Go Kart Cup

Video: Get to know Jack McBain


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