Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sioux in the Pros: Training Camp News

NHL training camp rosters are getting whittled down with the regular season just a week away, and several former Sioux are engaged in opening day roster spot battles. Among the camp rookies, Jason Gregoire, Matt Frattin, and Brad Malone have survived their teams' cuts thus far.

Brad Malone was impressive at the Colorado Avalanche training camp, and he's in the running for a job as Colorado's fourth line center. With his size and skill set, it's also within the realm of possibility that he could earn a spot on the wing if Av centerman Jay McClement is awarded the fourth line job.

Matt Frattin, who is averaging a point per game in five preseason contests (2 G, 3A), has virtually locked up the third line left wing spot for the Toronto Maple Leafs. As camp began, Frattin, Nazem Kadri, and Joe Colborne were all expected to compete for the position that was widely considered to be open for the taking. Colborne started slow and was inconsistent prior to being cut from camp, but both Kadri and Frattin were performing well and running neck and neck until Kadri suffered a knee injury that could keep him out of the lineup for up to a month. Frattin has impressed the Toronto staff, and he is looking forward to taking advantage of his opportunity by striking while the iron is hot.

Ryan Johnson may also benefit from an injury in his quest to make the Detroit Red Wing roster and defenseman Matt Smaby is experiencing a similar situation in Anaheim.

Among those who have been reassigned to minor league training camps, defenseman Joe Finley looks to shake off the injury bug and find a home in the Buffalo Sabres organization. After the Phoenix Coyotes assigned Brett Hextall to the Portland Pirate training camp, GM Don Maloney had some good things to say about the former Sioux forward (Click the quote for the full article):

"I think it's a fact of life that your first-round pick gets more time to show what he can do vs. a later-round pick. A good example for us might be (sixth-round pick) Brett Hextall, whose had a terrific camp; he's very good. We were really happy with him, and arguably, he could still be there, but we think he's a first-year pro, and we have a couple other guys, we're still waiting to see a little bit more from."

Evan Trupp, who recently signed with the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL), is participating in the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals training camp, while Derrick LaPoint is attending Syracuse Crunch training camp (AHL) on a tryout invitation.

Other former Sioux news:

No comments:

Post a Comment