Scott Pellerin, Director of Player Development for the Leafs spoke to the press today about development camp.
The Leafs have a big staff, but they added four non-Leafs guest coaches:
Hailey Wickenheiser, Ryane Clowe (the Growlers coach), Jay Varady (Head coach of the Kingston Frontenacs) and Johan Lundskog (Assistant Coach of Frölunda). Lundskog has coached in the ECHL and the GMHL a few years back before joining the staff in the SHL.
This camp is not just on the ice, but also includes some off-ice talks from people like speaker David Goggins and some media training. We’ll see in a moment how well that helped them talk to the press.
By the way, if you watch these press scrums and you’re surprised that someone is asking ECHL questions about the Growlers, that’s Scott Wheeler raising the bar on team coverage.
Next up is Matt Barnaby. He’s an invitee, and son of a famous dad.
Smart kid, he was afraid of Darius Kasparaitis as a child. Barnaby played some junior hockey in Ontario, including at the team that Sheldon Keefe used to run. He is slated to go to the NCAA in the future.
David Levin tells his story next:
His family comes from Latvia, so hockey wasn’t too strange a choice for him, but he had to rely on roller hockey work as a child in Israel.
He is working on his skating at this camp trying to improve there, and unlike most import players, if he goes home to Israel, he has to do three years of mandatory military service.
And now for the man who seems to be the happiest person in Canada right now: Rasmus Sandin.
I am amused that this Rögle player is working with a Frölunda coach, but he’s also working with Stephane Robidas, who is here as part of the Leafs staff to work with the defencemen. He knows all the OHL guys here, and Mac Hollowell is a teammate from the Soo.
He’s still not going to be pinned down on where he’s playing this season. No one is going to make this decision public until September, so we should all quit thinking about it.
Tomorrow is more development camp action, and maybe will get some more interesting interviews, but these guys all seem to be having fun.