Canes Country's Guide to the Hurricanes Conditioning Camp: The 2011 Edition

Ron Francis will be on the ice with Rod Brind`Amour and Glenn Wesley this weekend with a dozen new hockey players that are part of the Hurricanes organization. Photo from last year's Camp via Jamie Kellner

This weekend, a dozen new faces of the Carolina Hurricanes organization will arrive in Raleigh to meet some of the team's developmental coaches as well as the training staff, led by Pete Friesen, so that they are familiar with the area and more importantly to learn what is expected of them by their NHL club. From the Canes original release:

Hurricanes Head Athletic Trainer/Strength and Conditioning Coach Peter Friesen will run the camp for 11 prospects, teaching the players proper conditioning techniques to help them prepare for careers in professional hockey.

The Camp starts Sunday and runs through Wednesday and includes an on-ice session each afternoon. This year they will be skating up at the Polar Ice House which is located in "The Factory" in Wake Forest; beginning at 5pm Sunday, and 4:30pm Monday through Wednesday. And yes, Canes fans, these on-ice sessions will be open to the public.

So knowing how desperate you are in the dog-days of July for the sound of skates cutting the ice, pucks bouncing off the boards and the chance to "WOOOHOOOO!" when the puck finds the twine, we here at Canes Country have put together all you need to know to get the most out of the opportunity.

After the jump is your Canes Country Guide to Conditioning Camp, with the link to our popular printable guide to take with you when you head to Wake Forest.

After last years' Camp featured a bumper crop of draftees from both 2009 and 2010, this year the roster looks to be more sparse with just 7 drafted skaters and 2 goaltenders. In addition the Canes have included 2 undrafted invitees to participate. In the past, young and promising players Kai Kantola (a talented local player) and Mike McKenzie (now with the Checkers) took part.

Seven of the nine were drafted in St Paul a few weeks ago. Below is the roster and some general information and notes. As we did last year, here is our printable pdf:  Canes Country's Guide to 2011 Conditioning Camp which also includes pictures. I've added an extra page with a map and directions to get to the rink from Raleigh that shows where to park and how to find the ice once you're there.

The Hurricanes have told us that the on-ice sessions will be led by Ron Francis, Rod Brind`Amour and Glen Wesley. Last year Cam Ward made an appearance, but with 3 goalies available not sure he'll be needed this go around. It wouldn't surprise me if Tom Barrasso should also stop by.

 

The Players Attending (alphabetically)

 

# Name how aquired     DOB     Pos  Ht Wt 10 - 11 team Notes
 SKATERS

 54 

Alt, Mark

10 draft:

2nd rd

10/18/91

(age 19)

D

6-3

199

Univ  Minnesota 

Alt was an NCAA recruit for both football & hockey. Having just completed his freshman year at UMinn, he has not signed a pro contract yet. Big defensive Dman. Dad is vet NFL Kansas City tackle John Alt.

65 Hofmann, Gregory

11 draft:

4th rd

11/13/92

(age 18)

C

6-0

170

Ambri (Swiss)

 Hofmann was a standout 2-way forward for the Swiss U-20 team in Buffalo and expect him to be there this year. He was rookie-of-the-year for Men's Swiss league (NLA) this past season, though he was injured a bit in a collision with Brian Pothier in January.

74 Krug, Torey

Invitee

4/12/91

(age 20)

D

5-9

175

Michigan State

 Completed Sophomore year as Captain at Mich State. 1st Team All-CCHA. Undrafted.

67 Lindstrom, Mattias

09 draft:

3rd rd

3/21/91

(age 20)

LW

6-4

203

Skelleftea (Sweden)

 Lindstrom signed a 2-way pro contract w/Canes in May, and is expected to start in Charlotte in Oct. Knee injury required major surgery 2 seasons ago with a lengthy rehab. Played some in Mens Swedish league last year.

45 Lowe, Keegan

11 draft:

3rd rd

3/29/93

(age 18)

D

6-1

176

Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

 Lowe is a stay-at-home physical defenseman. Son of Oilers' 6-Cup-winning, now President, Kevin Lowe. Attended Game 7 of SCF at RBCCtr in '06. (Twitter: @klowe4)

38 Murphy, Ryan

11 draft:

1st rd 

3/31/93

(age 18)

D

5-11

176

Kitchener (OHL)

 Teammate of Skinner's in Kitchener, Murphy was expected to be drafted in top 10, but dropped to the Canes at 12th. Has tremendous puck-handling, skating, scoring ability. Should get some NHL time in fall. (Twitter: @ryanmurphy24)

49 Rask, Victor

11 draft:

2nd rd

3/1/93

(age 18)

C

6-2

194

Leksand (Sweden)

 Rask was rated among top-10 for draft a year ago, but his play flat-lined a bit and caused drop. Status next year is TBD: may return to Sweden or play in Charlotte. Tony McDonald says: "Significant upside." Big kid, FO% strong.

48 Sutter, Brody

11 draft:

7th rd

9/26/91

(age 19)

C

6-4

190

Leth- bridge (WHL)

 Undrafted at 18, and cousin to Brandon and Brett, Brody Sutter has size and hockey sense. Tony McDonald: "a big man who is pretty skilled with good hands." Drafted at 19, could play in Charlotte this year. Son of Duane.

 GOALTENDERS
40 Andersen, Frederik

10 draft:

7th rd

2/10/89

(age 22)

G

6-4

 220 

Frederik-shavn (Denmak)

 Oversized goalie who was named player of year for Denmark in 10-11. Also part of Denmark's World Cup team past 2 yrs. Will play in Swedish Elite League (Frolunda) this year - a big test. Oldest player at camp.

50 Mahalak, Matt

11 draft:

6th rd

1/22/93

(age 18)

G

6-2

183

Plymouth (OHL)

 A late round pick from the Plymouth Whalers, Mahalak is well regarded for his age group. Played #2 in goal behind NJDevils prospect Scott Wedgewood last season.

80 Wilson, Connor

Invitee

8/30/91

(19)

G

5-9

160

Chicago (USHL)

 From Cary, NC, 1st player from NC drafted by USHL. Connor will attend and play for Yale University this fall.

 


Links and Background stories


Below I've got a few more links I've found since the draft to learn more about where these players come from and their expectations.

2009 Draft


Mattias Lindstrom (3rd round, 88th overall)

If only for the player photo: Mattias Lindstrom | Skelleftea AIK 

Hurricanes Sign 2009 Draft Picks Mattias Lindstrom, Tommi Kivisto - Canes Country Despite disappointments, 2009 picks Mattias Lindstrom and Tommi Kivisto have signed entry-level contracts with Carolina.

 

 

2010 Draft


Mark Alt (2nd round, 53rd overall)

Mark Alt Player Bio - Official Site of University of Minnesota with stats from his Freshman year including: "Fourth among team defensemen in points, but first among freshmen blueliners".


Frederik Andersen (7th round, 187th overall)

This may be a year old and I've linked it before, but it's still the best story on this Danish netminder. Born to be a goalie Denmark’s Frederik Andersen just waiting to be discovered

Eliteprospects.com - Frederik Andersen indicating he signed a contract with Sweden's Frolunda in April.


2011 Draft


Ryan Murphy (1st round, 12th overall)

Murphy called in to talk with Mike Maniscalco a few days after the Draft here: Canes first draft pick Ryan Murphy - WRALSportsFan.com [AUDIO - 11 mins] and the accompanying story drawn from their conversation: Canes draftee Murphy ready to work - WRALSportsFan.com

Here's a scouting report prior to the draft from Boston when he was the regarded a target of the Bruins with their 9th pick. New England Hockey Journal: Defenseman Murphy could be an option for Bruins

If some scouts are a little unsure whether Murphy can be a reliable rotational defender, and not just a power play specialist in the NHL, Kitchener GM and head coach Steve Spott feels his charge is a star-in-waiting.

"He absolutely can be a top-pairing defenseman, 100 percent," Spott said. "He's intelligent, hard-working and is proving himself every day."




Victor Rask (2nd round, 42nd overall)

This story is a little rough  to read, thanks to Google translating from Swedish, but, CHL is not an option Victor Rask was drafted third overall in the CHL's import draft on Wednesday afternoon. But it is unlikely that he plays there. Instead, he aims to take his place in the Carolina organization. 

- We were clear that there is no alternative, says agent Claes Elefalk about the WHL's Calgary Hitmen selection of Victor Rask.....Instead, Victor Rask will focus really hard on that part of [Ed: his future with?] the Carolina organization .....

- Since the [NHL] draft, we have brought a lot of talks with Carolina, including Jim Rutherford, and they believe very much in Victor. As it stands now, he can be "sajnas" [?]  soon and get a fair chance to break into the team during camp. Carolina believes he is ready this coming season, could be ready for some playing time in the NHL. Would he not have a regular place, it may be that he spends years in the AHL instead.


This from Kirk Luedeke at Bruins 2011 Draft Watch: Victor Rask 

Whomever drafts him in the first round is doing so with the belief in what they saw from him a year ago when he was a dominant junior player with ideal size and some legitimate NHL tools. He didn't get it done this season, but watching him in Germany- he showed the flashes of what made him one of the more talked-about prospects coming in. Now, he has to put it all together. If a club thinks he'll relax and get back to the levels he showed as a 16-year-old, then he's absolutely worth taking a shot at in the first. However, if he slips into the second, he's legitimate value anywhere there.


Keegan Lowe (3rd round, 73rd overall)

 

Keegan Lowe: Out to Make His Own Mark - The Copper & Blue A look at Keegan Lowe's draft day. (And please try to overlook the writer's none-too-subtle put down of Carolina hockey - not worth your trouble.)

Again from Kirk Luedeke, Bruins 2011 Draft Watch: Keegan Lowe 

Lowe's not the most skilled player, but is smart and has grown up around the game. He's a hard worker and does the little things well, playing a sound positional game and using an active stick to take away passing lanes and forcing turnovers. He's an unselfish player who is always willing to take one for the team. You can see the evidence of this in the prolific fight videos of his on YouTube. 

So, here is Lowe's HockeyFights page off which I plucked this recent, though brief, exchange vs a Sutter that isn't yet a Hurricane. (For those keeping score at home, Lukas is the son of Rich and is draft eligible in 2012)



Or this early and heavy scrap when he was a WHL rookie 16-year-old. As a hockeymom, I really have no words. (So conflicted.)


 





Gregory Hofmann  (4th round, 103rd overall)

First, take a look at his photo from the professional (Mens) NLA team in Switzerland where he played this year. Do we agree he doesn't look yet 12? And further, based on recent experience, do we agree that doesn't matter?

From Switzerland, in French: Gregory Hofmann: "The NHL is a dream for me" | Planet Hockey  (If you don't speak French, here's the Google translated link) This story leads with a knee injury he suffered from an awkward hit with none other than Brian Pothier in January, but goes on to his plans for the immediate future:

Q: If you had the opportunity to join a training in North America next year, what would your decision?


A: Today, I can not answer because I feel good with Ambri-Piotta. However, I have a clause in my contract that would allow me to leave Switzerland for North America.... 

I'm lucky, my coach is very familiar with the world of hockey in North America and gave me excellent advice. I think I will continue to develop myself with Ambri-Piotta before wanting to move to the next level. But you know, it's a decision that must also be taken as a family...I do not know yet what I will do. Sure I'd like to attend a rookie training camp but my current priorities are mostly playing with HCAP.



The Hockey News: International Scouting Services: Best draft picks by round The head scout of ISS writes about his favorite picks from each of the NHL draft's seven rounds.

Round 4, Gregory Hofmann - The best pick of the fourth round was when the Hurricanes selected Hofmann at 103. The Swiss product is an offensive force who has continued to develop into a solid pro and his ability to adapt and produce at various levels has been exciting to watch. He was arguably the Swiss team's best forward during this year's WJC and WJA tournaments, outscoring big-name Swiss stars in the process. The kid can put the puck in the net and is not far away from doing so on NHL goalies. 

 

 

Matt Mahalak (6th round, 163rd overall)

 

From his hometown paper after the draft, Matt Mahalak drafted by NHL's Carolina | Toledo Free Press

Mahalak talked with Maurice again in the Hurricanes suite and discussed the summer schedule, including a weeklong camp and a prospect tournament. They also talked about Carolina goalie coach Tom Barrasso.

"He’s had a lot of success with Cam Ward," Mahalak said. "Coach Maurice gave me a few pointers about how Tom likes to coach. It was very interesting hearing the head coach’s perspective of the goalie coach. He had such a successful career. I’m excited to meet him, work with him and learn as much as I can from him."

 

Brody Sutter (7th round, 193rd overall)

Hurricanes Choose Brody Sutter, Son of Duane, With Seventh-Round Pick - Canes Country Though unranked by International Scouting Services this year, Sutter, who measures 6'4, 200 pounds, was described as having typical Sutter family characteristics in ISS's 2010 draft guide. ISS credited him as having good size while being both physical and mobile, plus good on the forecheck. And, of course, good leadership qualities.

Jim Rutherford indicated that Sutter may be ready and is apparently eligible to play in Charlotte this coming season. 

For Stat geeks, this is pretty interesting: 2011 Draft - Forwards and NHL Equivalencies - The Copper & Blue. This analysis shows promising results for Brody Sutter who places at 38th among all forwards who were drafted this year when they figured projected scoring based on his WHL numbers - they project him to be a 22 point scorer, ahead of 1st round picks Tomas Jurco (Detroit) and Mika Zibanejad. (Ottawa). He was the 108th forward drafted. (This is the system that predicted Jeff Skinner would be the top scorer in last years draft). Also keep in mind the fact that Sutter is a year older which works in his favor. Gregory Hofmann shows up at 84th projected to score 10.3 pts/season. (We'll ignore that for now)

 

And the basics on the two invitees

Connor Wilson, courtesy of the USHL Chicago Steel

Torey Klug, Captain of the Michigan State Spartans.

**LATE ADD** Barclay Goodrow, LW from the OHL Brampton Battalion, has a lengthy draft analysis with his story over at Copper & Blue. Includes this gem of a quote: 

I spoke with a couple of different scouts and OHL observers and they all expressed the same sentiment: even with just average footwork, Goodrow would be a 35 goal scorer and probably a second round pick.

 

Finally, a little perspective

In April 2011, Canes Country's Cory Lavalette (and his colleagues over at Hockey's Future) rated the Hurricanes prospects. Two of them, Mark Alt and Mattias Lindstrom, are at Camp this week and are shown at 11th and 16th respectively. This is useful for putting their potential in perspective with prospects we know better. ( Andersen was not ranked in the top 19 and the other players at camp are new from the draft so they were not in the organization at the time)

  1. Zac Dalpe,C 
  2. Zach Boychuk, C 
  3. Justin Faulk, D 
  4. Brian Dumoulin , D 
  5. Drayson Bowman, LW 
  6. Riley Nash, C 
  7. Bobby Sanguinetti, D 
  8. Oskar Osala, LW 
  9. Justin Peters, G 
  10. Chris Terry, LW
  11. Mark Alt , D 
  12. Mike Murphy, G 
  13. Michal Jordan, D 
  14. Justin Shugg, LW 
  15. Danny Biega, D 
  16. Mattias Lindstrom, LW 
  17. Jerome Samson, RW 
  18. Casey Borer, D 
  19. Austin Levi, D   

Bob, Jamie and I will be able to get over to Wake Forest for many of the sessions next week. Check back for stories, observation, interviews and some photos of these newcomers.

Last reminder, Wake Forest is typically a very cold rink, much more so than the RecZone. If you want to enjoy watching the action for more than a few minutes, dress appropriately (flip flops not recommended!) and bring a warm coat and/or a hat. 

Again the link to the printable guide is here: Canes Country's Guide to 2011 Conditioning Camp . We'll update this link with photos and numbers as they become available. Hope to see you there.
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