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Woods Making Progress at Development Camp

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 10:30 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Woods Making Progress at Development Camp
Aside from camp invitees, a development camp roster typically features just-drafted teenagers and prospects who are nearing the start of their professional careers.

Michael Smith
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With one professional season of hockey already under his belt, Brendan Woods was the rare exception last week.

Woods skated in 42 games with the Charlotte Checkers in 2013-14, logging eight points (5g, 3a) and 40 penalty minutes. But, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound forward missed 31 games due to a knee injury, including the last 25.

Among other benefits, camp allowed him to take the next step in his recovery.

“I think it just gives him confidence that everything is fine with his leg. It gets him through the grind of battling back into the hockey mentality,” Checkers head coach Jeff Daniels said. “As frustrating as it might be at times for him to get his timing back, I think come training camp, it will definitely benefit him from doing this.”

“The first practice was definitely an eye-opener, just kind of showing me where I am conditioning-wise. I’ve been off my knee for a while and am just getting back into it. Definitely haven’t done a practice like that,” he said. “It was good to get a feel for what [Bill Peters’] practices are all about. It shows me where I’m at and where I need to get to for main camp. Being here is only going to help me get back to where I need to be.”

And, just because he’s a wily veteran of development camp at 22 years of age doesn’t mean he still can’t learn something; after all, there is a new front office and coaching staff in Raleigh.

“I’m one of the older guys, but there’s no time when you can’t learn anything,” he said. “You can be a vet and still learn something from some guys, so I come in here as a sponge to try to soak everything up. And now with new coaches, you learn different things and know what to expect.”

Though Woods had to scale back at times throughout the week, power skating with instructor Kim Muir wasn’t an issue.

“I didn’t have any problems, really,” he said. “She’s great, and I love her to death. It really does help you, and you notice it in game situations.”

Even if his timing still wasn’t perfect, by the week-capping scrimmage, he was looking to bang bodies and bring that physical presence.

“He looks good. He’s a kid that no matter what he does, he goes hard and all out,” Daniels said. “He has one speed, and that’s go to the net to crash and bang.”

Woods signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Canes in April 2013, following the completion of his sophomore season at Wisconsin. As a Badger, Woods recorded 10 goals, 12 assists (22 points) and 83 penalty minutes in 75 games played.

His first professional season was admittedly a learning experience, especially adjusting from the college schedule of maybe only playing two games a week to at times playing three games in three days in the AHL.

“It was definitely a learning year. It stinks because, before my injury, I felt like I was getting the hang of things, getting comfortable and playing my best hockey,” he said. “But hopefully I can work my butt off to get back to where I was there – maybe even better – and try making the squad here.”

Woods will join the Canes in Traverse City for the annual prospects tournament in early September. Then, it’s back to Raleigh for training camp.

“I hopefully can show them that I could play at the top level,” he said of his goals for this season. “If it doesn’t come to that, maybe I’ll have more responsibility down in Charlotte.”



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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
K. Versteeg 63 11 22 -6 33
E. Staal 63 10 23 -3 33
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81