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Tracking the Storm

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
Having missed significant time due to injury in his first professional season, Brendan Woods got back in action at Prospects 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 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 69 21 28 -11 49
J. Faulk 74 15 32 -17 47
E. Lindholm 73 16 21 -19 37
J. Skinner 69 18 13 -21 31
V. Rask 72 11 20 -11 31
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 70 7 17 -13 24
J. McClement 74 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 46 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 38 4 16 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 21 5 .911 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 15 5 .903 2.62