It was another long day for the prospects attending the Carolina Hurricanes conditioning camp on Monday, but fans watching were not only treated to a lot of hard work, they also witnessed plenty of skill out on the ice at The Factory in Wake Forest.
Ron Francis, Rod Brind`Amour, Glen Wesley, and Tom Barrasso guided the young players through a variety of drills that lasted a bit over an hour.
The session finished up with a shootout drill in which Ryan Murphy and Victor Rask were the only players to score, and they did so a couple of times until Murphy was stopped and Rask scored once again to claim honors.
My impressions? They all looked pretty darn good to me. The puck was finding the back of the net with regularity during the drills, but I wouldn't put that all on the goalies.
I focused on the forwards primarily and as Carolyn pointed out yesterday, noticed that the big guys do have some soft hands. Mattias Lindstrom and Brody Sutter have accurate shots and can do some damage when in the right position. Rask and Gregory Hofmann were smooth out there and showed off some skill. And undrafted invitee Barclay Goodrow certainly didn't look out of place.
After the session, I spoke with a couple of the players:
Lindstrom said that the camp has been tough, really tough, but he wasn't complaining.
"I can't say enough, everything has been awesome," said the Swede. While the forward confirmed that he had fully recovered from his injury, he still did not know if he would be playing in North America this coming season or if he would return to the Swedish Elite League. "I don't know anything about that," he said.
Rask was non-committal about that subject as well.
"No, I don't know," was what he replied when I asked him if he knew where he would be playing next season.
Chip Alexander has much more about Rask in an article here.
When I posed the same question to Greg Hofmann, he said he recently made the decision that he would be returning to the Swiss Pro League.
"It's great for me, it's a great league," said Hofmann. "I had to decide last week whether to play in the Junior league here, or stay in the "A League" in Switzerland, and I talked with my father and my agent and we decided to stay in Switzerland."
Hofmann also represented Switzerland in U-20 World Championships and said it was a great experience.
"It was my first experience with the U-20 and I learned a lot about it. It was crazy. It was a beautiful experience. Now I have to prepare for the next World Championship in Calgary next year and I am looking forward to that."
The forward went on to describe his day.
"We woke up at 6:30 in the morning and had breakfast. After that we had off ice practice. Then we had a lecture, maybe about nutrition or leadership. Then after lunch we had another off ice practice. After that we came here and had on ice practice."
The youngsters will be back on the ice today and tomorrow, same time, (4:30) and same location. Carolyn has updated the printable Canes Country guide to bring along as a reference.
For more pictures, check out Jamie's work at the following link: