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06-29-2011, 01:38 PM
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To anyone that hasn't been to a development camp, they run a bunch of drills very quickly (usually 2 drills at once). So it is tough to watch everything that happens and get a real good read/impression on any of the players. So while others may come away with something completely different than what I saw, this is what I came away with:

They did skating drills to start out, followed by board drills (getting the puck off of the boards for break-out passes), goalies leaving the pucks for the dmen and they look to break-out, various shooting/passing/skating drills, puck possession/deke drills, forwards breaking out and getting the puck to your point drills, 2-on-1, 2-on-2, and 3-on-2 drills.

Taylor Beck and Michael Latta: Both seemed to stand out a bit from everyone else there. They didn't stand out as significantly as I expected or hoped, but they definitely seemed to have it more "all-together" than any of the other forwards that I saw today. Both used their size well against the boards and both were great skaters for being considered power forwards.

Gabriel Bourque: very shifty speedster who possesses a good wrist shot. While at time he was erratic with his shot, he still changed the angle of his shot and had quite a few toe-drags in his repertoire. To me, he was the best sniper out there out of the whole group.

Zach Budish: BIG guy. He had a couple of great tip ins and looked really comfortable in front of the net. Outside of that, I didn't notice much else about his game other than that he seemed really slow.

Patrick Cehlin: Dude can flat out fly. By far the fastest guy out there for us today. He possesses a pretty good shot with a very quick release. He needs to sharpen his skating skills as I did see him fall a few times while trying to make quick turns, stops, etc. There were also a few times where he was hesitant in his decision to pass/shoot, but you can definitely tell that there is potential. He impressed me the 2nd most out there today.

David Elsner: He has an impressive shot, but he really lacked in his passing a few times. On a few 2-on-1, 2-on-2, and 3-on-2 drills, he really slipped up bringing the puck into the zone causing a turnover. He used his body well a few times in front of the net.

Ryan Flynn: Relatively quick release on his shot, but didn't notice much else other than him and Foss were being physical with each other a few times in front of the net.

Jack MacLellan: A lot of guys seemed to really smiling and enjoying being out there along-side this guy. He had some pretty slick passes and flashed some decent stick moves in front of the net in tight areas.

Craig Smith: This is the guy I was impressed with the most. The guy reads the plays well, has quick hands, great passer, and has equally as good of a shot. He was quick on his feet, seems like he has a good top-speed, very balanced, and scored a few times on what I consider to be the best shots of the session. While I'm not sure his ceiling is as high as Beck and Latta, he is as well-rounded as those individuals.

Austin Watson: He looked taller than 6'4" to me. Maybe it is his long legs, but you can tell he is a little rough around the edges. He has good possession skills (getting pucks off the boards and starting the break-out, etc) and has good speed for his height, but didn't notice much else out there.

(I didn't pay much attention to any other forwards out there. Nor did I pay any attention at all to any of the goalies, sorry.)

Mattias Ekholm: You could really tell when him and Foss were out there together. They were taking the body more than anyone else. Ekholm is very active with his stick and does well in and around the net.

Ryan Ellis: While he isn't big, he is good at shielding opponents around the boards or to gather possession off of a rebound. He has an incredible shot. And something I noticed, he was vocal. He REALLY helped out a lot of the younger dmen in drills. I was impressed by how he was leading while out on the ice. There were MANY times he would break up a 2-on-1 or 3-on-2 by making the correct read and stopping the play before it even develops (I'd say he was the best at it). Mark him down as the person that most impressed me on the blueline.

Jeff Foss: Used his body quite a bit. Never used it too much though. He was usually in good position, but did get backdoored a few times on 3-on-2 drills.

Roman Josi: The guy can flat out skate. It isn't that he is incredibly fast or quick, he is just so smooth. And the times that there were 50/50 pucks, he came away with it 90% of the time. He has great hands, is a good passer, and was very effective at making break-out passes.

Simon Karlsson: You could tell he was young. He definitely has some skills, but there were a few times where he brain was moving faster than his feet/hands. Tough to make a good read on him as he still needs some developing to do before he can make a good impression.

Garrett Noonan: Solid. That is all I noticed. Was very solid out there. Very Mark Eaton like in terms you forget he was part of a play because he didn't do anything wrong, nor was he ever flashy.

Hope this helped anyone get a feel for how it was if you couldn't attend.

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