Canes Country's Guide to the Hurricanes Training Camp: Group B

Paul Maurice and Ron Francis at Hurricanes Practice. They'll have a lot to talk about the next 2 weeks. Photo by LTD.

Earlier today I posted the Canes Country Guide to Group A, featuring the youngest and newest of the Hurricanes 2010 Training Camp. Here are the rest of the players who will be competing for a spot in the NHL lockerroom over the season.

Position Battles to watch

With only two forwards locked in their depth-chart positions, out of a minimum of twelve, this is going to be one competitive camp. Eric Staal will be the first line centerman. Brandon Sutter will center the second line. After that - watch and we'll find out. The most critical choices for the Hurricanes' coaches is who will flank these two at their wings and complete the Top-six. Who will give the most return, not only as a top producer individually, but also the best match of skills and style of these #1 and #2 guys? 

If I had to identify the position which will become the most intriguing battle over the next two weeks, I'd go with third line center. Among those those now practicing as Group B, the leading candidates are Jussi Jokinen and Patrick Dwyer, with a mention to Tuomo Ruutu. But it's been well known for weeks that the front-runners to pivot the third line would be found among the young guns practicing as "Group A". Zac Dalpe and Riley Nash have been the lead candidates in conversations all summer. And Jon Matsumoto can't be ignored. Last, consider this, when Coach Jeff Daniels looked to switch up the lines in Traverse City earlier this week, it wasn't Dalpe centering the top line, rather Jeff Skinner.

Does the 18-year old have what it takes to play aggressively at both ends of the ice? The Kitchener Record had this story talking to both Rod Brind`Amour, a former Selke winner who might have a few thoughts on the matter, and Skinner on Monday. The [Kitchener] Record.com:  Brind’Amour guides Skinner through pro camp "Everything he’s going through, I’ve been there," said Brind’Amour, the just-retired NHL centre and new director of forwards development for Carolina. "I was that shy kid once. I think I can relate to him really well."

After the jump, a few more links previewing Camp, then a look at the facts and figures of those who are (at the moment) part of "Group B". Here again, I'll link you to the downloadable .pdf version of  Canes Country's Guide to Training Camp for you to print out and take with you as you head to the RBC tomorrow or for the next week.

**UPDATE: For more of my projections on who to watch at this year's camp, you can check out the Canes section here: Training Camp Battles: Southeast Division - ProHockeyTalk - NBC Sports The pressure's on Coaches Paul Maurice and Ron Francis to find the right mix of wings to complete the top six and optimize the talents of Staal and Sutter. And then finish the job by assembling the bottom six from scratch. 

Young Hurricanes have plenty to prove -  NewsObserver.com In the Carolina Hurricanes' locker room at the RecZone, the two facing end lockers closest to the doors once were occupied by forwards Rod Brind'Amour and Ray Whitney, befitting their status as veterans and team leaders.

Training Camp: What to Watch For - Carolina Hurricanes -Tracking the StormWith the on-ice portion of training camp set to start this Saturday, here’s a list of things to keep an eye on as camp progresses.

Group A up close, from this morning. Canes Country's Guide to the Hurricanes Training Camp: Group A - Canes Country There will be a lot of new names and faces this year. Canes Country has a full guide to Camp including a downloadable .pdf to print out to take with you.

Puck Drops - Canes sign NC native Patrick O'Sullivan to one-year deal Brian LeBlanc writes on the what the announcement of O'Sullivan's contract means to both the new Canes player and those already here.

Finally, this is only a teaser of a more in-depth interview forthcoming, but Hockeybuzz's prospects blogger, Julie Robenhymer sat down with recently-signed NCAA centers  Zac Dalpe and Riley Nash Monday and posted a very funny out-take video here. HockeyBuzz.com - Julie Robenhymer - Traverse City Prospect Tournament Notes 


Group B

 

A quick census of Group B:

(not including last minute addition of Patrick O'Sullivan, since his group placement was not available at this time)

** UPDATE: O'Sullivan will be wearing Jersey #8 and skate with Group B today.

 

Twenty-two  players: 12 Forwards, 8 Defensemen, 2 Goaltenders. (**With O'Sullivan, it's now 23 players, 13 forwards.)

Age: This group is an average age of 26 years, 7 months. Zach Boychuk is the youngest at 20 years, 11 months; Joe Corvo is the oldest, at 33 years, 3 months. (Group A averaged 22 years, 4 months with none older than 25 years of age.)

Nationality: 9 were born in Canada, 7 in the US and there are 6 European-born players. I counted Brandon Sutter as US born, though he spent much of his life in Canada, and played for Team Canada's World Junior teams.

Height: Anton Babchuk is the tallest, listed at 6' 5" while Sergei Samsonov steps in at 5'-8" .

Weight: According to the numbers available now, Tim Gleason is heaviest at 217 lbs. and Patrick Dwyer is the lightest at 175 lbs. Repeating what I wrote this morning, since they are weighing in today, after a summer of weight management and training, I suspect these numbers are subject to change.

Our downloadable .pdf version: With photos and few more familiar names, it's ready to print-and-go. Here's the link once more: Canes Country's Guide to 2010 Training Camp 

 

GROUP "B" (as of 9/17/10)

#  NAME , HT/WT, DOB & Birthplace how acquired, 09/10 Team, Contract  Notes
 FORWARDS
 11   ZACH BOYCHUK   08 - 1st rnd  09-10 stat line:
 5' 10", 185 lbs Albany/ Carolina  Albany: 52 games, 15 G, 21 A, 36 P
 10/4/1989  Carolina: 31 games, 3 G, 1 A, +1
 AIRDRIE, AB, CAN 2-Way
 12   ERIC STAAL "C"  03 - 1st rnd  09-10 stat line:
 6' 4", 205 lbs Carolina  70 games, 29 G, 41 A, 70 P
 10/29/1984  Lock for first line Center, named Captain Jan 21, 2010
 THUNDER BAY, ON, CAN 1-way
 14   SERGEI SAMSONOV   Trade w/CHI  09-10 stat line:
 5' 8", 188 lbs Carolina  72 games, 14 G, 15 A, 29 P
 10/27/1978  Calder trophy - '98, in contract year. Oldest among forwards.
 MOSCOW, RUS 1-way
 15   TUOMO RUUTU   Trade w/CHI  09-10 stat line:
 6' 0", 205 lbs Carolina  54 games, 14 G, 21 A, 35 P
 2/16/1983  Won bronze w/ Team Finland. Had shoulder surgery in March.
 VANTAA, FIN 1-way
 16   BRANDON SUTTER   07- 1st rnd  09-10 stat line:
 6' 3", 183 lbs Albany/ Carolina  72 games, 21 G, 19 A, 40 P
 2/14/1989  Lock for 2nd line Center, breakout year last season, + only 2 PIM
 HUNTINGTON, NY, USA 2-Way
 19   JIRI TLUSTY   Trade w/TOR  A first round pick in 2006, acquired in trade for Paradis. Tlusty re-habbing after knee injury during the Calder Cup playoffs / (ACL surgery)
 6' 0", 209 lbs Albany/ Carolina
 3/16/1988
 SLANY, CZE 1-way
 21   DRAYSON BOWMAN   07 - 3rd rnd  09-10 stat line:
 6' 1", 190 lbs Albany/ Carolina   Albany: 56 games, 17 G, 15 A, 32 P
 3/8/1989  Carolina: 9 games, 2 G, 0 A, 2 P
 GRAND RAPIDS, MI, USA 2-Way
 26   ERIK COLE   98 - 3rd rnd  09-10 stat line:
 6' 2", 205 lbs Carolina  40 games, 11 G, 5 A,16 P
 11/6/1978  An injury-filled 09-10 season, ready for stronger contract year
 OSWEGO, NY, USA 1-way
 29   TOM KOSTOPOULOS   UFA, 2009  09-10 stat line:
 6' 0", 200 lbs Carolina  82 games, 8 G, 13 A, 21 P
 1/24/1979  Only Cane to play 82 games, and finished with top +/-. Top PIM too.
 MISSISSAUGA, ON, CAN 1-way
 36   JUSSI JOKINEN   Trade w/TBL  09-10 stat line:
 5' 11", 198 lbs Carolina  81 games, 30 G, 35 A, 65 P
 4/1/1983  After a career best season, may be a C or LW this season
 KALAJOKI, FIN 1-way
 39   PATRICK DWYER   UFA 2006  09-10 stat line:
 5' 11", 175 lbs Albany/ Carolina   Albany: 23 games, 11 G, 8 A, 19 P
 6/22/1983  Carolina: 58 games, 7 G, 5 A, 12 P
 SPOKANE, WA, USA 2-Way  Expecting 2nd child in late Sept.
 59   CHAD LAROSE   UFA - 2003  09-10 stat line:
 5' 10", 181 lbs Carolina   56 games, 11 G, 17 A, 28 P
 3/27/1982  Undrafted, yet regarded a leader. Brind`Amour training protégé.
 FRASER, MI, USA 1-way
 DEFENSEMEN
 4   JAMIE McBAIN 06 - 2nd rnd  09-10 stat line:
 6'-2", 200 lbs Albany/ Carolina  Albany: 70 games, 29 G, 41 A, 70 P
 2/25/1988  Carolina: 14 games, 3 G, 7 A, 10 P
 EDINA, MN, USA 2-Way  High expections, now in jersey #4
 6   TIM GLEASON Trade w/LAK  09-10 stat line:
 6' 0", 217 lbs Carolina  61 games, 5 G, 14 A, 29 P
 1/29/1983  Won silver w/Team USA, missed end of season: broken foot.
 CLAWSON, MI, USA 1-way
 25   JONI PITKANEN Trade w/EDM  09-10 stat line:
 6' 3", 210 lbs Carolina  71 games, 6 G, 40 A, 46 P
 9/19/1983  Led NHL for TOI/game 09-10. Won bronze w/Team FIN. Contract year.
 OULU, FIN 1-way
 27   BRETT CARSON 04, 4th rnd  09-10 stat line:
 6' 4", 210 lbs Albany/ Carolina  Albany: 14 games, 3 G, 8 A, 11 P
 11/29/1985  Carolina: 54 games, 2 G, 10 A, 12 P
 REGINA, SK, CAN 2-Way
 28   BRYAN RODNEY UFA - 2008  09-10 stat line:
 6' 0", 195 lbs Albany/ Carolina  Albany: 54 games, 7 G, ? A, ? P
 4/22/1984  Carolina: 22 games, 1 G, 10 A, 11 P
 LONDON, ON, CAN 2-Way  Named as AHL All-Star 2010
 33   ANTON BABCHUK Trade 2/CHI  After a season in the KHL, Babchuk returns to NC with his booming slapshot and his wife and infant son, Anton Jr, born July 1.
 6' 5", 212 lbs Avantgard Omsk (KHL)
 5/6/1984
 KIEV, UKR 1-way
 44   JAY HARRISON UFA, 2009  09-10 stat line:
 6'-4", 211 lbs Albany/ Carolina  Albany: 32 games, 2 G, 12 A, 14 P
 11/3/1982  Carolina: 38 games, 1 G, 5 A, 6 P
 OSHAWA, ON, CAN 1-way
 77   JOE CORVO UFA, 7/2010  09-10 stat line:
 6' 0", 204 lbs Carolina/  Washington  Carolina: 34 games, 4 G, 8 A, 12 P
 6/20/1977  Capitals: 18 games, 2 G, 4 A, 6 P
 OAK PARK, IL, USA 1-way  At 33, oldest man on the team.
 GOALTENDERS
 30   CAM WARD 08 - 1st rnd  09-10 stat line:
 6' 1", 185 lbs Carolina  47 games, 18-23-5
 2/29/1984  2.69 GAA, .916 SV%
 SASKATOON, SK, CAN 2-Way  #1 Question: How does his back look?
 60   JUSTIN PETERS 04 - 2nd rnd  09-10 stat line:
 6' 1", 205 lbs Albany/ Carolina  Carolina: 9 games, 6-3-0
 8/30/1986  2.81 GAA, .924 SV%
 BLYTH, ON, CAN 2-Way  Named as AHL All-Star 2010

 

The new Canes Country Calendar linked on the front page is kept up to date with practice information and games as well. The Schedule for Group B Practices during the upcoming week is as follows:

 Date Time  Place
 Sat, Sep 18, 2010 11:30  RBC
 Sun, Sep 19, 2010 9:00am  RecZone
 Mon, Sep 20, 2010 11:00am  RBC
 Tue, Sep 21, 2010 GAMEDAY  RBC
 Wed, Sep 22, 2010 9:00am  RBC
 Thu, Sep 23, 2010 GAMEDAY  RBC
 Fri, Sep 24, 2010 GAMEDAY  RBC
 Sat, Sep 25, 2010 GAMEDAY  RBC
 Sun, Sep 26, 2010 Team Practice  RecZone

 

Management has made it clear that the group assignments for the players may (and in all likelihood will) change daily for some players, so keep an eye out for updates on twitter or in the comments.

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