Today's development camp practice featured more powerskating with instructor Kim Muir, only this time they were running some rather unorthodox drills. One of which involved the players skating down the ice while one of their teammates grabbed on to the back of their jerseys. I guess this was to test their strength because I had never seen anything like that before. Victor Rask had the unfortunate task of dragging big Brody Sutter down the rink and he actually managed to do it without much of a problem.
They also did a few other drills with Muir to work on the player's edge work and their lateral movement, similar to the drills done yesterday but with a little more more on stopping & turning. Most of the players seem to have no issue with these drills and I didn't notice anyone lose an edge or struggle to make turns and pivots. The Canes seem to have focused on drafting good skaters in recent years, so this wasn't too much of a surprise but it was encouraging to see some of the prospects excel at these drills. The players also worked on a few passing drills earlier in the session and I thought both Keegan Lowe & Danny Biega looked very good there. Biega's been one of the main standouts of this camp for me as he seems to be above the rest of the group in a lot of different areas, skating and passing being two of the main things.
In addition to that, here are a couple of other observations from today's practice:
– This was my first time getting a look at Beau Schmitz and I liked what I saw. He's older than some of the other players here, but he seems to know the game well and has a lot of the fundamentals worked out. He skates and handles the puck well and played great during his brief time in Charlotte last year, so I'm intrigued about his future.
– Today was also the first time I got to see Carolina's 7th round pick from this year, Tyler Ganly. Scouting reports mentioned that he made a lot of improvements to his game last year but still needs to work in his skating. Going by what I saw today, Ganly has a good burst but was a little more careful when he had to handle the puck. Probably a sign that he is still learning how to control his speed and handle the puck. He is only 18, so he has plenty of time to learn.
– There was another where the players had to skip down the ice and watching Brody Sutter keep his balance while doing this was both impressive and entertaining.
– Ryan Murphy was obviously one of the quicker players during these drills but I think everyone knows that skating is one of his strongest assets.
Once again, I'd like to thank the Hurricanes and Canes Vision for streaming these practices to give the fans a look at some of the team's prospects. Watching these practices and getting an inside look at the team's future has been interesting and a lot of fun.