After a horrific offseason that was filled with tragedy and loss where the ice could have been made from tears, there are few things as cathartic as going into the arena, seeing the fresh ice, and watching the prospects live part of their dream.
The rookie camp is something different for each kid. For some, it’s a chance to audition for a contract. For others, it’s to raise up a notch in the mind of the GM. And finally, for kids like Andy, Gonch, and Brandon, it’s just a warm up before main camp, where they will be fighting to unseat someone from a roster spot. Kids like Andrew Fritsch and Lucas Lessio are fresh out of the draft, but at the other end of the spectrum, it seems like Michael Stone and Mathieu Brodeur have been here forevs, so the level of nerves on the first day was going to be a fairly vast spectrum.
Ok enough with the yada yada…….
OH MY FREAKING GOD THE ROOKIES ARE HERE. THIS MEANS……… BB GOALIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! HE WAS STILL GOALIE. HE WAS STILL BB. EVERYTHING IS ONCE AGAIN RIGHT IN THE WORLD.
Andy Miele was obviously going to come as advertised. He completely stood out amongst the forwards in the first practice. He can snipe a goal. He can protect the puck with his (rather small) body. Apparently it really ISN’T the size, it’s how you use it. Who’da thunk it?!?! He’s not small, he’s fun-sized. He was quick and when everyone else was out of gas and leaning over, Andy was still cruising. He worked his ass off this summer with @SyphusTraining and it showed.
Let’s talk about Brandon Gormley. I am so freaking high on this kid. His skating, his positional defense, his hands…….. there isn’t a downside that he’s shown yet. While he isn’t the biggest guy, he can come out of the corner with the puck. That’s some Jedi mind trick crap right there. I can’t wait to see how he is able to hang in pro camp next week. It’s a bloody shame that he has to go back to Juniors because I think he would make the AHL his bitch this season if he went to Portland.
Minor side note: having 35 prospects is freakin’ insane and must have melted my brain because I somehow got ZERO pictures of Darian’s hair. WTF AJ? And I got 9000 pictures of Andrew and Blake because I sent them to their moms. I need to start running a service man!
Max: Max is a big boy. I would not want Max angry with me. However, while he’s a good stay at home Dman, when compared with Gormley, his offensiveness isn’t what I had it in my brain that he possessed. That’s fine, with Yands, OEL, Stone, and Gormley, we have enough Dman that are gonna go all frickin’ cowboy in the offensive end. He had a slightly tough time with the skate at the end of practice so it’s good that he’ll get more endurance before main camp.
Some other minor notes:
Andrew Fritsch showed off some pretty decent hands on some of his goals. He can put the puck where he needs it to go.
While it was just the first day, none of the tryout kids really stuck out.
Nick Ross has been at this camp forever. Nick Ross will continue to be at this camp forever?
Chris Summers may be one of the coolest people on the planet.
Colin Long may be victim of the abundance of centers we have and be in Gwinnett.
Evan Bloodoff is still the bees knees.
Brett Hextall and Kale Kessy are scrappy, tough dudes that I’d want on my team.
I would undo the trade with the Rangers to give back Ethan Werek so we get back Oscar Lindberg.
A comment heard at camp today: “Does Mathieu Brodeur even want to be here, cuz he isn’t skating like he does”.
None of the goalies looked too amazing cuz they had to do double practice duty so in the event of a tie the decision always goes to……………………. BB GOALIE!
Here are some pics from camp. You can check out all 137 here: Camp Pics Day 1