It's another summer quickly flying by and another Carolina Hurricanes Prospect Camp has come and gone.
Last year, camp invitee Sergey Tolchinsky stole the show and impressed the coaching staff so much that he was offered a contract soon after camp This year another invitee, Dryden Hunt, scored twice and got everyone's attention with a nifty toe drag move that beat first round draft pick, Haydn Fleury as well as goalie Daniel Altshuller, during the prospects scrimmage on Saturday as the red team defeated the white, 5-3.
In addition to Hunt's two goals, Dennis Robertson scored off a nice feed by Lucas Wallmark, and Warren Foegele knocked in an empty netter for team red.
Phillip Di Giuseppe scored twice for the white team, one off a well placed wrister from the slot area. Brock McGinn didn't score but looked very good matched up with Di Giuseppe as they were setting each other up much of the contest.
It was not an overly physical scrimmage, but a couple of players were looking for hits, including Foegele who didn't mind throwing his body around out there.
Each team had five shooters for a shootout after the scrimmage which ended up 2-2. Bryan Moore and Brady Vail scored for red while Clark Bishop and Alex Aleardi scored for white.
Aleardi was recently signed by the Checkers and Bishop had earned praise from coach Bill Peters earlier in the week as someone who was standing out.
Both Vail and Moore were camp invitees. Vail had 32 goals and 5 assists for Windsor in the OHL last season while Moore is another local player, (from Indian Trail, NC) who played for both Sarnia and Sault Ste. Marie last season. He scored 25 goals combined, for both teams.
Coach Peters was impressed with the passion of the prospects as well as the turnout of fans. About a third of the lower bowl was filled.
Cary native, Logan Hallday, was the winning goalie as the NC natives, Moore, Hallday, and Wesley stood out for the home crowd. Halladay has committed to the University of Minnesota for 2015-16. He had a .932 save percentage and a record of 18-8-2 for Janesville of the NAHL last season.
Camp Notes and Quotes:
Altshuller had a bit of tough luck in the scrimmage and allowed a couple of goals off of deflections. In my interview with the goalie, who had an outstanding postseason with the Oshawa Generals, he said that he feels he is ready to move on to the next level.
"It's possible I could go back for my over-age year, but I think I can make the step to the next level. I've done all I think I need to do in junior and learned all I think I can learn there. I want to be part of this organization next year and I am very excited to have that opportunity. I'm hoping to go to Traverse City and then attend training camp and work very hard to impress a lot of people and I'm going to continue to work hard this offseason so I can do that."
When asked what was different for him this year versus the two previous years he has attended, Dan responded that in previous years they always did the five mile bike, this year they did the five mile and ten mile. That was a big difference for him.
The Charlotte Checkers already have two goalies signed, Drew MacIntyre and John Muse, but could always use another goalie, as they found out last year when they used a record nine goalies during the season.
I asked Jeff Daniels if Altshuller had a shot to make his club.
"Oh yes, you know how we went with goalies last year and while we won't necessarily carry three goalies because that is not practical, there are other options for depth and we will see what happens in training camp and see where everyone falls into place. We have room for Danny if he is ready to make the next step."
I'll have more of the Jeff Daniels interview soon.
There is another player ready to make it to the next level and he has some pretty solid training partners to help him along the way. When I asked Brock McGinn what he was doing to help him prepare for training camp and for trying to make it to the NHL, he said he was training everyday with his brothers and skating on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays in Toronto.
"I work out with my brothers everyday. We pretty much do everything together and push each other very hard. They are trying hard to better themselves as well. While Jamie is an established NHL'r and Tye is trying to do that this year, we are definitely pushing each other to the max."
Another two players who will be fighting for a forward position along with McGinn at training camp are Brown and Di Giuseppe, two college guys who also impressed the coaches over the week. I will have more about them, along with some quotes, coming up in a day or two in another article.
Warren Foegele is also working hard over the summer and he is taking the same route as Jeff Skinner once did, train with fitness guru Gary Roberts. I asked him if he could describe that training a bit.
"It goes all summer, six days a week. Very much like this camp, you give it your all, except you do have a few more breaks between. There is some yoga involved as well, but it is train as hard as you can. Train, Refuel, Recover, and Perform, that is his motto."
Foegele was a little surprised he was selected by the Hurricanes in the draft but could not be happier. He did have one interview with Carolina brass prior to the draft.
Perhaps the biggest star of prospects camp was coach, Bill Peters, who made his debut on the PNC ice this past week. Peters showed that he will be a "hands on" personality during practice. When asked if he will run the Hurricanes practice sessions the same way as he did this week, he replied, "that's how we do it".
On Saturday, Peters named Brown, Di Giuseppe, and Slavin as players who stood out to him. He also said that invitee Dryden Hunt should be feeling good about himself.
On Friday, I asked the coach if any players made an impression or exceeded expectations.
"This is a new organization so I don't have any expectations to speak of, but Clark Bishop and Brett Pesce have been very good. Jaccob Slavin has also been very good and I've seen Fleury has very quick feet. Many of the players have been very good, but I'm really looking forward to Traverse City, that's a tougher test."
For more about the head coach, check out Chip Alexander's article here.