Day 2 of Blackhawks Prospect Camp at Johnny’s Ice House West featured two more practices today. The groups weren’t just Free Agents and Blackhawk property anymore—the two were mixed together in what should be preparation for the following three days of scrimmages.
The first team on the ice this morning was split up like this:
Red Jerseys: Milos Bubela (RPI; F), Mark McNeill (Prince Albert; C), Travis Brown (Moose Jaw; D), Robin Press (Sodertalje Jr. 20; D), Viktor Svedberg (Vastra Frolunda HC; D), Stephen Johns (Notre Dame; D), Chris McCarthy (Vermont; F), Chris Calnan (South Shore; RW), Alex Broadhurst (London; C) and Grayson Downing (New Hampshire; F)
White Jerseys: Anthony Louis (US NTDP; C), Sam Jardine (Ohio State; D), Tim O’Brien (Dartmouth; F), Dan Weissenhofer (Air Force; D), Jason Bast (St. Francis Xavier; C), Pat Mullane (Boston College; C), Cohen Adair (Northern Michigan; F), Dillon Fournier (Rouyn-Noranda; D), Luke Curadi (RPI; D), Zach Loesch (Lake Superior State; D)
Goalies: Jackson Whistle (Kelowna), Brandon Whitney (Victoriaville), Matthew O’Connor (Boston University)
The drills were more intense today and featured more rushes and board battles. Due to those drills, the tempo of the practice was more fast-paced than the previous day. It also allowed the players to show off more of their skills.
Everyone started off on the Struggle Bus this morning though—even skating coach Kevin Delaney. While showing the campers how to do a drill, he fell down twice. Many of the players also had problems staying on their skates, but once the adrenaline started running, things got better.
Chris Calnan was more noticeable today than he was yesterday. He utilized his speed to his advantage and was able to display his good shot. Travis Brown wheeled around the rink very well with his smooth skating. Stephen Johns once again stood out from the crowd. He got involved physically whenever he could; one big hit of his came when he stepped up at the blue line and hit free agent invitee Cohen Adair. The 6-foot-4, 220 pound Wampum, Pennsylvania native was also very good defensively with good gaps and a keen ability to break up an attacking forward’s momentum. Mark McNeill was solid once again, despite a scary moment. Early in the day, he took a shot off of his leg (I couldn’t tell if it was the ankle area or higher up his leg) and went down. He got up and skated around gingerly, but then was helped to the dressing room by two trainers. About 5 minutes later, the 6-foot-1, 214 pound center was back on the ice and participating in drills. He was skating just fine, like nothing had happened, but then there was this report after practice:
The biggest player at camp, Viktor Svedberg, skates and stick-handles very well for a large man; the Goteborg, Sweden native is 6-foot-9 and 223 pounds. For Rockford IceHogs fans, that is good to hear considering he signed an AHL contract for the upcoming 2013-14 season. Anthony Louis also exhibited good stick-handling in drills, as well as good speed. The Winfield, IL native is a fast skater. Another name that IceHogs fans should be on the lookout for is Wallingford, Connecticut native Pat Mullane. He looked very solid during practice. His speed and good shot were very evident. 19 year old defenseman Dillon Fournier also showed off his skating ability today—he was one of the smoothest skaters while the guys had to stick-handle around cones a couple of times before getting a shot on net. Netminders Brandon Whitney, Jackson Whistle and Matthew O’Connor all were solid in net and made some good saves.
The second group was delayed from getting onto the ice for a few minutes due to ice conditions. After the ice was re-surfaced, it looked terrible. It was over flooded and the puddles weren’t drying fast. The Zamboni dry-cut the ice and it was deemed fine, but it was very sloppy and choppy. The hot and humid conditions outside the building didn’t help anything. Group 2 had to battle through the ice conditions, but they seemed to manage it well enough.
Here’s the break down on how group 2 was split up:
Red Jerseys: Phillip Danault (Moncton; C), Quinn Gould (Merrimack; F), Maxim Shalunov (Chelmet Chelyabinsk; RW), Dario Simion (Lugano HC; F), Garrett Thompson (Ferris State; LW), Michael Paliotta (Vermont; D), Nolan Zajac (Denver; D), Matt Lorito (Brown; F), Carl Dahlstrom (Linkoping Jr. 18; D), Nick Mattson (North Dakota; D)
White Jerseys: John Hayden (US NTDP; C); Sam Babintsev (Mississauga; RW), Gleb Koryagin (HC MVD Jr.; D), Justin Holl (University of Minnesota; D), Tyler Motte (US NTDP; C), Guy LeBoeuf (RPI; D), Chris Calnan (again), Jake Chelios (Michigan State; D), Alex Broadhurst (again), Robin Norell (Djurgarden Jr. 18; D)
Goalies: Kent Simpson (Toledo), Mac Carruth (Portland), Matt Tomkins (Sherwood Park)
MIA: Antti Raanta (Assat Pori; G; injured—and won’t be on ice at all this week)
Ryan Hartman (Plymouth; RW; recovering from shoulder surgery), Kevin Hayes (Boston College; C; recovering from quad surgery)
Garret Ross (Saginaw; LW), Vincent Hinostroza (Waterloo; C), Kirill Gotovets (Cornell; D), Luke Johnson (Lincoln, F)
Robin Norell has stepped off of the Struggle Bus, folks. He looked much better in today’s practice in all areas including passing and skating (he’s very fast). Phillip Danault continued to be a work-horse. His intensity was kicked up a few notches from yesterday (if that’s even possible) and he was giving every drill his all, which is normal for him. He’s very strong on his skates and works hard along the boards. Dario Simion had a sweet moment today when he found a hole in the defense, cut in, took a pass and roofed a shot over Mac Carruth’s glove. John Hayden continued to shine today. The 6-foot-3, 210 pound U.S. NTDP alum has a nose for the net, good hands and good speed to his game.
After the session ended, Mac Carruth, Kent Simpson, Brandon Whitney, Matt Tomkins, John Hayden, Tyler Motte, Justin Holl and—wait for it—Kevin Hayes were getting additional ice time with some of the coaching staff for a good chunk of time.
Tomorrow, the scrimmages start. Team A—the first group that was on the ice today—is supposed to practice for an hour starting at 10:00 a.m. At 11:30, the first scrimmage of camp between Team A and Team B—the second group that was on the ice—will take place.
I’ll have that covered once again. If you want updates from the scrimmage, follow me on Twitter: @kimwrona7.