Prospects Ramblings: NHL Development Camp Updates

by Peter Harling on July 3, 2017

Updates from NHL Development Camps of Carolina Hurricanes, LA Kings, Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, and Tampa bay Lightning

NHL Development camps are in full swing. Some are already over, some are ongoing, and some are coming up. For a complete list see my previous Ramblings with all 31 teams posted rosters and schedule.

The teams whose camps are now over include; Anaheim, Arizona, Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Florida, LA, Nashville, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa, Vegas, Washington, and Winnipeg.

On Carolina Hurricanes, our friends at Canes and Coffee @CanesandCoffee are generous enough to share their insights from camp as founder Matt Karash was in attendance

Carolina has several center prospects poised to make the jump into the NHL, here is what Matt had to say about that…

If the Hurricanes do not add another center, Lucas Wallmark (not at prospect camp/AHL level) is one of a few players who could compete for the fourth-line center slot in 2017-18. If they play well in preseason, Janne Kuokkanen and Nicolas Roy could emerge as dark horses to compete for the same slot.

 

Warren Foegele surprised during last fall’s preseason, looked very capable in exhibition games and was one of the last players cut. Though his offensive ceiling might not be as high as some others, Foegele is another dark horse to compete for a 2017-18 opening day roster spot.”

 

Carolinas 2017 first round pick Martin Necas was turning heads in his first NHL camp, here are Matts observations…

 

2017 first-round pick Martin Necas had a strong week in Raleigh and finished even stronger in Saturday’s scrimmage. He did not score in Saturday’s scrimmage, but he demonstrated effortless speed blowing right around defenders, the ability to make plays at full speed and good hockey sense. Based on a limited sample size, I would vault Necas to the top of the Hurricanes prospect list in terms of raw scoring upside down the road even over 2016 first-rounder Julien Gauthier.”

 

As for the top prospects drafted in 2016 draft in Julien Gauthier and Jake Bean

 

Speaking of Julien Gauthier, he netted only one pretty backhand goal for his efforts but was arguably the most dominant player offensively in Saturday’s scrimmage. His game is that of a skilled power forward. Think Rick Nash except bigger and stronger. Gauthier with the puck on his stick approaching the offensive blue line and barreling toward the net was a sight to behold multiple times on Saturday.

 

Jake Bean showed why he was drafted in the middle of the first round in 2016. He played the entirety of Saturday’s scrimmage with a Joni Pitkanen-like calm and patience with the puck on his stick. He must continue to build up the defensive part of his game, but if/when he does reach the NHL-level, Bean projects to be a power play quarterback and puck distributor from the back end with 50-point potential.”

For more on Carolina Hurricanes development camp visit these links from Canes and Coffee

 

A more detailed recap of Saturday’s Hurricanes prospect camp scrimmage with player-by-player notes on these and others can be found at Canes and Coffee.

 

“First impressions” also includes more player by player notes ‘from the rink’ from the first practice session on Wednesday (June 28) night.

 

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LA Kings Development Camp

Former DobberProspects writer Sheng Peng @Sheng_Peng was at the Kings camp and was kind enough to share his thoughts and observations with us from his post on HockeyBuzz 

 

Older prospects that stood out included Boko Imama, Alex Iafallo and Oscar Fantenberg.

 

You expected the more mature Boko Imama, Alex Iafallo, and Oscar Fantenberg to play above the generally less-developed competition, and they did. Imama looks like he could be a Jordan Nolan-type sooner than later — uses his size, decent straight-ahead speed, and some occasional flash. Iafallo showed some good wheels during 4v4, but perhaps the 23-year-old has another gear, as I look to him to potentially be an immediate help for LA's bottom-six”

 

Michael Eyssimont is another older prospect on the rise but was disappointing;

 

”On the other hand, 20-year-old Michael Eyssimont has already put up two solid seasons with the Huskies, but I thought I might see more out of him. The 2016 fifth-round pick had an opportunity for a breakaway during 4v4, but the first step wasn't there. That said, Eyssimont has legitimate tape against top-notch NCAA action, so I'm not going to write him off because of one play, one scrimmage.”

 

One camp invitee to stand out was Easton Brodzinski, brother of Kings Prospect Jonny Brodzinski

 

“Camp invitee Easton Brodzinski did not look out of place at all. Playing an offensive style similar to Jonny's, insofar as he was constantly looking for the soft spots in coverage from where he could launch a shot, he scored on a wrister from the slot during 4v4 action that I believe his older brother would have been proud of. I'm not saying his shot is as intimidating as Jonny's, but it's definitely an asset. Entering St. Cloud State as a 20-year-old, he might be a late bloomer. He'll have to improve his "dig," but that may come with physical maturity and time.”

 

Top 2017 draft pick Jaret Anderson-Dolan made an impression…

Jaret Anderson-Dolan showcased a noticeable motor and had his head up at all times. The 2017 second-rounder was definitely a player who was involved on both sides of the puck. Converting that energy into production at the higher levels will be a question, but this was a solid start.”

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Ottawa Senators Development Camp

I found a great fan post on Silversevens by one of their readers “Marvellous” Here is what he had to say…

On Nick Paul…”The most impressive forward was Nick Paul and not because he scored two goals, but he was dominant on most of his shifts”

On Logan Brown…”Logan Brown looks like a longer term project, as he is an awkward skater who needs to grow into that huge body. All the same he made some nice plays, but I expected more.”

On camp invitee Matt Gennaro…“Matteo Gennaro can really move. This kid can play. I think we should sign Babcock and Gennaro if we want an AHL turnaround.”

On Gabriel Gagne…”One guy I had given up on who really showed up was Gabriel Gagné. Mark him down as the biggest surprise among the forwards besides Gennaro followed by Chlapik.”

On Thomas Chabot…”On the defence, of course Chabot was impressive at moving the puck, and he can really move too.You can see how eager he is to join the rush and he will fit in well, and hopefully grow into our EK#2.”

Read the entire article here

Watch the entire Sens scrimmage here

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A great Twitter account to follow for Florida Panther updates is @fla_prospects who posted plenty of great videos from Panthers camp like this beauty of 2017 top pick Owen Tippett

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Finnish free agent signee Henrik Haapala made some noise in development camp with his offensive upside. He was the Liiga leading scorer last year and will be joined by his teammate Sebastian Repo, but don’t be surprised if Haapala is given a good chance to start the year in the NHL

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Here is a great video from NYRTV with Rangers Director of Player Development Gordie Clark talking Ryan Gropp, Sean Day, Neal Pionk, Alexei Bereglazov, and goalie Igor Shesterkin

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Ranger’s second first round pick from the 2017 NHL Draft Filip Chytil scored two goals in scrimmage during his first development camp and created some buzz. Chytil was also drafted in the CHL Import Draft by the OHL North Bay Battalion and may play in the CHL next year.

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Tampa Bay Lightning development camp concluded, some prospects that made noise included Samuel Walker and Mikhail Sergachev who was recently acquired in the Jonathan Drouin trade.

At the draft I wsa able to participate in a media scrum with Steve Yzerman who didn’t rule out the possibility of Sergachev playing in the NHL, but played it safe saying it was up to Sergachev to earn a spot in camp. Some other Bolts D to keep a close eye on that are close to making the NHL include Dominik Masin and Libor Hajek

Here is a video interview with Tampa Director of Player Development Stacy Roest on the camp

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Thanks for reading and be sure to follow our summer July and August 31-in31 series. Every day in July we are posting a new teams 2017 NHL Draft review and analysis. You can find those on either the team page or all in one spot on the Feature Story page

In August we will be doing a team a day organizational prospect overview, giving you each teams updated top ten, prospects on the rise/fall, who is graduating from junior to pro, and pro to the NHL, and a prospect depth chart by position.

Fantasy Hockey never has an “Off-season”!