Fist off, go check out JP Nikota's impressions of play in today's scrimmage.
He talks a lot about his style of play, tells us that the smaller camp was good and they all got to know each other well. Like some other players, he'll be working out for the summer with Leafs' staff. Stay tuned for the Clune story.
He talks about his second year experience, and jokes about the bigger D he was playing with. He really sold me on the value of the Marlies huge roster pre-playoffs giving opportunities to young guys to get their feet wet in a professional environment.
I'm now primed for it. I watch every Auston interview waiting for the light to come on. He looked tired and ready for month in the desert to recover from his amazing summer, but he came alive this time talking about Mike Babcock's mental health seminar. He seemed impressed that the organization put their efforts into that area. So am I. Stick tap, Leafs.
He's still cagey on his summer plans, so we don't know if we should assume he'll be at the rookie camp in London or if we should assume he won't be.
With two goals on the day, Tyler Wong is a man for whom this kind of camp matters a lot. It's easy to forget that, that it's not just a summer lark for the big boys whose future is secure. Wong is looking for a permanent spot on the Marlies after his ATO last year, and he hopes this day made the case for it.
Wong gave a great scouting report on Andrew Nielsen, so if you want the on-ice view of him, watch this one.
Wong came alive talking about his charitable work in the community back in Lethbridge. He means this, that working for kids who have fewer advantages to him is a blessing. Bless your heart, Tyler Wong, and I totally meant that sincerely!
Trevor Moore is a college kid from California, so he is the fruits of NHL expansion, picked by Toronto as an invite to this camp to see what he's got. Like Wong, this mattered to him. He talks about how NCAA players like him don't get to come to September rookie camps or team training camps. This is their shot.
Moore is, and stop me if you've heard this before, 21, 5'10" and less than 180 pounds. He's won some awards in the NCAA, scores at about a point per game, and he's never been drafted. He is obviously going back for a fourth year and the University of Denver, so he wants to come out of that year, bigger, faster and stronger. Good luck to him, but he was impressed by the Toronto Maple Leafs organization and fans, and sometimes, after a week of Toronto typical cynicism and skepticism, a stranger who thinks it's damn awesome is nice to hear from.