||07-12-2006 12:13 PM
I was impressed with the size and skating ability across the board. Much better than the last development camp I went to in 2002 (Komi, Higgins, Archer, Ferland, and midgets).
There were 8 defensemen on the ice and SEVEN were righties. The lefty was Korpikari. He was good. He stumbled once switching over to backwards, but had good hands and good skill and hustled. Excellent skater.
The guys who stood out to me were: D'Agostino, Carle, Fischer (very mature for his age, great skater), Korpikari and Chipchura. Latendresse was not there (at least I hope he wasn't, hard to tell with no names or numbers on the back).
I was pretty well impressed with almost everyone though. Very good group. The hands aren't as good as in the past, but they all have solid hands to go with good size and skating across the board. Lots of NORTH AMERICANS too. Only Korpikari, S.Kosty, and Mikus were Euro. I like that!
Hard to pick out who was who, but I guess it's better that way because it's easy to see who stood out. For me it was:
Carle: Excellent acceleration and agility, nice skill set and can finish in close. One-on-one he will need help against bigger players, but he doesn't play the puck, he plays the man, and skates well backwards. Looks like he enjoys the defensive side of things. I like him. He's got a shot at the bigs.
D'Agostino: This guy is a future Hab. No doubt about it. Very accurate shot, quick skater and very hard worker. He was a fan favorite. Now this is the kind of player we need, tons of energy. Outside shot at a second line spot one day, but he definitely has the looks of a two-way NHL player.
Sergei Kotsitsyn: Had the best hands out of anybody, but his skating was a bit sluggish. Still, hard and accurate shot with a nice release. He has to pick up his work habits.
Fischer: Excellent speed and size for a kid his age. His stride is very wide and he has long legs. He wasn't physical at all though, preferring to tie people up. His shot is nothing to write home about and his hands are so-so, but solid. Excellent passer and definitely a character guy and a leader. The other players were gravitating to him.
Chipchura you know. Looks like he's improved his skating a bit. His feet are quicker. His hands are decent and he's fearless about driving the net. He keeps fighting when other players would give up.
Korpikari: I like him. Dynamic skater, good hands, and good finisher in close with an accurate shot (not something you need from a defenseman, but it's true).
Price worked hard and looked solid fundamentally. Didn't go lateral much, so I couldn't tell about that. Handles the puck well. Didn't see him use his glove much. He got beat there once on a bad one, but looked like he was loafing on it. Gave up some rebounds too, but it was a one-on-one drill, so the shots were from close. I'd like to see more of him before I pass judgement.
Muller, Jarvis and Lever were on the ice with a couple other dudes. One of them had a video camera and was filming stuff up close. A few media types smirking around. At the end, during the 1-on-1-on-1 drill, Carbo and Boivin were standing at the top of the stands and were later joined by Timmins. Didn't see Gainey. Lots of people there (200?). And it was cold.
I went to Lafleur's for a hotdog afterwards and it was good. Now I'm going to eat my blueberry pie.