Every year development camp throws together some very young draft picks with some other players on tryouts, and something we should expect happens. The older guys, particularly European pros or NCAA players who’ve been playing with older teammates, outshine the teenage draftees.
Last year at dev camp, Kristian Pospisil was the hot-looking player, and not surprisingly, he signed an AHL contract. He was very good in the ECHL, and he moved up to the Marlies at the end of the year and was one of many players who worked through the playoffs in a training group.
This year, in part because those Marlies played into June, the dev camp roster is very shy of older draft picks to balance out the youth, so once again, it’s an invitee who looks hot in the scrimmage: Rodrigo Abols, a Latvian playing in the SHL, sure looked accomplished out there.
And he is, of course. He could easily slot into an AHL roster, and it will be interesting to see if he’s inclined to move to North America, or if this was just an opportunity to learn. The other accomplished-looking player, duo really, was Brady Ferguson with his centre Derian Plouffe. They’ve both been signed to AHL deals already.
Ferguson is actually from Arizona. I’ve heard good things about kids from there. He actually grew up playing in Dallas, and if there’s any justification at all for Gary Bettman being seen as a builder of hockey, it’s guys like Ferguson. But I’ll credit the Dallas Stars organization for growing the game in Texas.
Ryane Clowe has a long scrum, his first as a head coach. And the new Growlers coach is carefully cagey about the team’s plans.
And if you missed it in today’s links post, here is Hayley Wickenheiser talking about the experience of guest coaching. Dev camp is for the coaches as well as the players.
From two days ago there are some other interviews worth a look.
Sean Durzi is always excited, and he shares his thoughts:
T.J. Fergus, who has a dad you might know:
And while we’re here, this is a look back at the draft:
You need to watch that right to the end to see who tried to call Rasmus Sandin while he was busy.