Carolina Hurricanes fans and media continued to get their first looks at the 2019 draft class at Thursday evening’s prospect camp on-ice session, along with a number of other prospects in the Canes’ system. A number of individual players stood out to me, but one of the overall impressions is just the size of the camp. Making 12 draft picks will do that, but the Canes have a wealth of prospects that are just starting their careers in Raleigh for development camp this year.
It really shows off the depth of Carolina’s system as well that all of these players spent last season in juniors, college or Europe, none are AHL prospects. Being able to work with the Canes’ coaching staff at such an early point in their careers, and get feedback for what they need to work on, is vital for these young players.
- Since this was my first day at prospect camp, it was my first chance to see this year’s first-round pick, Ryan Suzuki. He’s definitely as advertised, a good, quick skater who sees the ice well and has good passing skills, and was described as such by forward development coach Sergei Samsonov. I talked to Suzuki after practice, and one of the biggest things he said he’s already working on is learning when to use his shot more, and not overpassing. He also showed some good defensive instincts during the drills; he was hard on the puck and broke up a couple of passes.
- David Cotton and Matt Filipe are the only skaters that were drafted before 2017, and definitely look like the camp’s veterans. Filipe has quick hands and a good shot, and Cotton scored a slick backhand goal during the drills. Samsonov mentioned the two college players as two “under the radar” prospects who have impressed him in the past year.
- Can definitely see a difference in Jack Drury year to year. His skating looks improved; he’s got a good, smooth stride. Definitely looked like a more confident player during drills.
- I thought 2018 pick Lenni Killinen stood out with his size and quick, accurate shot.
- Among others in this year’s draft class, I thought Jamieson Rees and Patrik Puistola definitely stood out based on their speed, both showed pretty good burst in the rush drills. Puistola also showed a couple good moves during the breakaway drills.
Prospect camp will continue with two on-ice sessions on Friday morning (neither of which are open to the public) before wrapping up with Saturday’s Summer Fest Celebration.