The penultimate on-ice session of Carolina Hurricanes Prospects Development Camp is in the books. Today’s skate featured the full group and was about an hour in length. Here are some notables.
- Canes head coach Kirk Muller had a quick update on Elias Lindholm, who did not skate today but was present for an on-bench interview with Chuck Kaiton: “He just tweaked his shoulder a little bit. He should be fine. It’s July.”
Michael Francis skated in Lindholm’s stead. Phil Di Giuseppe has been off the ice all week due to a hand injury, and Michael Chiasson has also been kept off the ice for the past few days.
- Today’s skate began with drills before moving into five-on-five full-ice scrimmages. The ice then shrunk to neutral zone mini-scrimmages and two-on-two corner battles. The sessions have been gradually ramping up in intensity in preparation for Saturday’s mini-game capper.
- Coaches on the ice today included Muller, assistant coaches John MacLean, Dave Lewis and Rod Brind’Amour, goaltending coach Greg Stefan and Tim Turk, skills coach and “Kirk’s buddy.”
- For 20 out of the 26 prospects at camp this week, the future is somewhat clear, as they leave with specific goals knowing they are a product of the Hurricanes.
Paths are yet undecided for the six others – camp invitees that include forwards Adam Brace, David Pacan, Brandon Shea and Sergey Tolchinsky, defenseman Michael Chiasson and goaltender Charlie Millen.
“To be honest, I’m not too sure,” Pacan said when asked what was next. “I’ll go home, continue to work out and see what happens.”
Tolchinsky, who attended the New York Rangers’ camp two weeks ago, said he will head back to Moscow for the under-20 World Junior national team camp before coming back to Toronto to continue his offseason training. He might also join the Rangers for the annual rookie tournament in Traverse City, MI, where the Canes will be as well.
Muller said he hopes this week proves to be beneficial for both sides. The players can walk away with a unique learning experience in tow, and the coaches and management can get a first-hand look at players who potentially slipped through the cracks.
“They come in and see the surroundings, see what we’re all about, what the culture’s about, what the area is like and bond with their peers,” Muller said. “If they have a good experience, they can say, ‘Hey, this is a place I’d like to hopefully make a match with.’
“There are always sleepers out there, and it’s always nice to look and see if you can get that guy.”
At 22 years old, Pacan, who has skated in camps with Florida and Chicago in previous years, is one of the older camp attendees, yet he still takes the opportunity to absorb all the knowledge he can manage.
“You’re like a sponge when you come here. You just take in all the information,” he said. “It’s been amazing. The coaches tell it how it is. They help you out whenever you’re doing something wrong or incorrect. They’re very hands-on people, and as a player, you want to get better. Having a coach around telling you things to work on really helps out.”
Tolchinsky, who was first draft-eligible this year, said the experience was invaluable.
“I really loved this week,” he said. “They’re trying to teach us and give us something new to help us develop.”
- All week long, Chantel McCabe anchored live streaming coverage of Prospects Development Camp. If you missed this morning or any day’s installment of Summerfest Live, be sure to check them out here.
- Saturday – the final day of Prospects Development Camp and Summerfest – will feature a four-on-four game with two, 15-minute periods, followed by a power play practice and shootout. Complete details of tomorrow’s goings on can be found here.