The practices and drills were ran by Berube, Samuelsson, Mullen, a guy that i think was the goalie coach, and then in the second half of each session a coach i don't recognize that appeared to be a skating coach doing all skating drills. Homer, Stevens, and another guy watched from above on a viewing platform.
The first group went on at 10 am. It's difficult to get a good read on prospects from pure drills, but there were a couple of things i could catch onto, mostly skating and stick handling, as well as just the players appearance and size as opposed to last year. Giroux looked like he put on a good deal of weight/size, and JVR along with Klotz were both the biggest players attending.
In group 1, Downie looked like he was a bit quicker than this time last year at the rookie camp. His skating really was not far behind someone like Potulny (who isn't the quickest guy either) Overall he looked good as expected. The skating elite of this group were Parent, Nodl, and Kempe. Andreas Nodl was clearly the best forward skater at this camp, rivaled probably only by Giroux in group 2. He really looked solid in all the drills, always won the skating races, and showed real good agility and turning/stopping skills during those types of drills. Mario Kempe looked REALLY young, and very very small, but buzzed around fairly quickly. He also had a few dazzling moves on Munroe. Garett Klotz was in this group and i paid special attention to him. I really hope he can fight, because he looks like he really lags behind most of the other players in other fundamental skills. Dupont was in this group, and looked OK.
Bartulis looked really big, and was really smooth in the passing drills. He and Parent were the best defensemen in this group. Other players that caught my eye from group 1 were Cabana, Beaulieau, Greentree and Lehtivuori
Group 2 had a lot of really good skaters. Giroux, Ratchuk, Ruzicka, and surprising to me Marshall were really quick. I'd probably say that Ratchuk was the best of this group. He really moves around effortlessly. Giroux pulled off a couple really nice dekes on Beauchemin (who was swiss cheese all day), and JVR really showed off his powerful shot. He scored a couple wristers from just inside the circles as well as some goals closer in. Kevin Marhsall really looks like the real deal. He's very stocky (his build reminded me of Gauthier) and and is quite mobile. His shot from the point also appeared to be pretty accurate. Jakub Kovar was also in this group and he was really doing well. He's small, but seemed to be pretty athletic. They were doing a drill throwing the puck around the boards, and goalies stopping it and clearing it back around. Kovar really had a lot of problems here. He really struggled stopping the puck and when he did, it took him a few seconds to get a handle on the puck and actually shoot it. I hope this is something he works on in Juniors this year.
Believe it or not, but Stefan Ruzicka was probably the hardest working player of the entire day. He was really enthusiastic, and moving his legs quite a bit. Steve Downie unfortunately really seemed like he was dogging it most of the day, maybe he was hung over. He was cutting corners on his drills and not hustling very hard by the end. I was a bit dissapointed by that. Gino Pisseleni also went down during the skating drills with a lower leg injury, but after being a ***** on the bench for 10-15 minutes rejoined practice. No wonder he was sent down to the ECHL. Lars Jonsson looked absolutely awful. This was the most dissapointing part of the day. He fumbled the puck consantly, and really struggled on the passing drills. I hope it was just a bad day for him.
Guys like Matsumoto, Kalinksi, Powe, Cabana, and Greentree also looked like they had a real good mix of skills. There really seemed to be an upgrade in the overall talent of this years prospects when compared to last year.