The Carolina Hurricanes wrapped the first day of Prospects Development Camp Tuesday afternoon. Here are some notables from the two sessions.
- It was just his first day in camp, and he admittedly didn’t have his best stuff, but it was fun to watch Elias Lindholm handle the puck. It was effortless in nature, yet smooth and accurate. The 18-year-old, who said it was his first time on the ice in a few months, was more critical of his session.
“I couldn’t even get some shots on net. I was awful,” he said, smiling. “But hopefully I’ll get better tomorrow.”
- Brody Sutter is unmistakably a Sutter. With a tall and lanky build, he towered over all the other forwards on the ice at 6-foot-5. His hands aren't bad either, and he'll be one to watch come training camp.
- Camp invitee Sergey Tolchinsky is small – 5-foot-9, 160 pounds to be exact. But instead of that being a hindrance, he employs it to his advantage.
“I don’t really care about my size,” he said. “I’m small so I can be faster and quicker.”
He said that in pretty clear English, too, impressive considering he moved from Moscow to North America just a year ago. Living in Sault Ste. Marie and playing for the Greyhounds of the OHL, Tolchinsky picked up English over the course of the 2012-13 season.
This is the 18-year-old's second development camp this summer; he attended the New York Rangers' camp two weeks ago.
- The hour-long session featured drills that focused on skating, stickhandling, passing and shooting. Not a lot of battling going on, which is understandable since this morning contained grueling off-ice fitness testing.
- Coaches on the ice for this hour included assistant coaches John MacLean, Dave Lewis and Rod Brind’Amour, goaltending coach Greg Stefan, director of forwards development Cory Stillman and a man known by the simple title of “Kirk’s buddy” – Tim Turk, a skills coach who has worked with the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning.
- When the Hurricanes drafted defenseman Austin Levi with the 85th overall selection (third round) in 2010, he was listed at 6-foot-3, 192 pounds. This summer, he comes into camp at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds. It will be interesting to see how he stacks up in September.
- Not that this is earth-shattering breaking news, but Ryan Murphy can fly. The kid has wheels, and he’s packed some weight onto his 5-foot-11 frame, too. He said that when he was drafted, he weighed in around 165. Two years later, he’s added 20 pounds to get to 185.
How’d he do it? “Eating and skating,” he said.
We’ll have more on him on Wednesday, as he looks to challenge for a defensive spot on this year’s team.
- As with the forwards session, there wasn’t a lot of battling, but rather a heavy focus on the skills – skating, stickhandling, passing and shooting. Lewis was actively involved in this session, running drills throughout the hour with a group of defensemen. Other coaches on the ice included Brind’Amour, Stefan, director of defensemen development Glen Wesley and Turk.
Odds and Ends
- Dubbed Prospects Development Camp, this year’s weeklong training course is altered from years past, growing in size and refocusing in content.
Recent conditioning or rookie camps, as they were called, featured intense off-ice instruction and light on-ice activity.
“In the past when we brought them in, it was more educational off-ice in the training aspect and the things they could do in the weight room, on the track, on stairs or on bikes to get them physically ready for the NHL and show them what the grind was going to be like with a little bit of on-ice stuff,” said Ron Francis, the team’s vice president of hockey operations. “It was a pretty tough camp, and by the time they got to the end of the day, we weren’t really sure we were seeing on the ice all they had to offer.”
This year, the camp’s structure is geared more toward on-ice skill development through drills, powerskating lessons and off-ice video instruction.
“It’s little things that they can work on in their games,” Francis said.
The venue has also changed, as the camp migrated from Raleigh Center Ice – the team’s practice facility – to PNC Arena. It works better logistically, but it also is a mental boon to the players.
“It gives our prospects a better understanding and idea of where they want to get to,” said Jim Rutherford, the Canes president and general manager. “They’re actually going to sit in the stall that they are working toward to becoming a regular in the NHL.”
- A couple of late camp invitees were on the ice for today’s sessions: forward David Pacan and goaltender Charlie Millen.
Pacan is a right-shooting winger from Ottawa, Ont., who logged time with San Antonio of the AHL and Cincinatti of the ECHL in 2012-13.
Millen is the son of Hockey Night in Canada personality Greg Millen, a goaltender who played four seasons with the Hartford Whalers in a 15-year NHL career.
- If you missed our Summerfest live stream today with Chantel McCabe anchoring coverage with a mound of informative interviews and material, you can watch the replay above. Be sure to click over to CarolinaHurricanes.com at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, as we give you an exclusive look at the closed morning on-ice sessions.