Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Prospect Development Camps

Considering that the Entry Draft and the free agency frenzy dominate NHL headlines in late June and early July, prospect development camps can fly under the radar. Some camps have already come and gone, some are currently in session, and most have yet to begin. Below is some of the info I've been able to assemble on the North Dakota presence at various camps.

Montreal holds two camps, one each before and after the entry draft. North Dakota had a significant presence at the pre-draft camp held June 5th through the 9th. Among the attendees were current Sioux Danny Kristo and Aaron Dell, incoming freshman Mark MacMillan, and former Sioux Mike Cichy. Kristo, Dell, and MacMillan all impressed those at Montreal's Two Minutes For Boarding forum. Granted, those posting on message boards might not be professional talent evaluators, but oftentimes fans are their own players harshest critics. Here's what was said about the Sioux prospects:

MacMillan: My surprise of the day. He is a very skilled and creative forward, he pulled off some very pretty moves. Twice, he pulled off the ''deke the goalie out of his crease, take the puck behind the goal line and then bring it back quickly to put it in'' move. Also looked bulkier than the 150 pounds he was drafted as (and listed as on the Habs camp sheet.

Kristo: I love watching this guy play. First on the ice and still shooting pucks after the final whistle had blown. Super fast. Plays a 2-way game. At one point, in the 3-on-3 drills, he caught up to streaking on a breakaway Ian Schultz and totally stole the puck away from him. Reminds me a lot of Gionta. Very hard wrist shot, but if there is one thing he needs to work on, is getting it on net more often. Still, best player on the ice, IMO. He told MA Godin of La Presse that he wants to dominate the NCAA before turning pro.

Cichy: His offensive skills come out in a context like this one where there is a lot of open ice. His chemistry with Kristo was evident. Apparently he's transferring out of North Dakota, hopefully he gets more ice time wherever he goes because there is something here, IMO.

As for the goalies, I think the Aaron Dell guy from North Dakota looked the best. Wouldn't mind if we signed him.

Dell: We need to get this guy signed! He just knows how to play goal. I know he has said he wants to go back to North Dakota, so get him signed next spring if that is the case. He and another goalie on a tryout (Mosher) were subjected to about 45 minutes of receiving shots from 5 of the coaches and the difference between those 2 goalies was immense.

MacMillan: I continue to be impressed by him. He uses an extremely long stick and that seems to give him an edge. He has an excellent backhand, which makes me a fan (the backhand is a dying art). Just a smart, creative offensive player overall. He and Gallagher again were passing it around at the end of drills. Really hope he gets a chance to play quite a bit at North Dakota from the start.

Kristo: Dell seems to know him quite well and Danny rarely beat his Fighting Sioux teammate. He absolutely owned Mosher at one point with an unreal set of dekes though. It was an NHL star type set of dekes, something you'd see a Sedin do.

The entire thread can be found here.

New York Rangers camp ran last week, and incoming freshman forward and recent 15th Overall pick JT Miller took part. Below is an interview with Miller following the camp:

Ottawa's camp wrapped up today, and current Sioux defenseman Ben Blood was a member of the camp's 3-on-3 tourney championship team.

Edmonton's camp kicked off today, with recent 4th Round pick and Sioux defenseman Dillon Simpson taking part. This article features Dillon and below is a brief video interview after Day 1 of camp:

Toronto's prospect camp also fired up today, with current Sioux Andrew MacWilliam and Taylor Dicken among the invitees. Maple Leaf camp runs through July 7.

Here are the other confirmed camp dates I've run across and the potential Sioux representation:

Buffalo, July 5th-10th (Former Sioux defenseman Corey Fienhage)

Tampa Bay, July 6th-13th (Incoming recruit Brendan O'Donnell)

Philadelphia, July 6th-11th (Incoming recruit Michael Parks)

Boston, July 7th-11th (2012 recruit Zane Gothberg)

Phoenix, July 7th-10th (Former Sioux Brett Hextall)

Chicago, July 7th-11th (Current Sioux Joe Gleason, incoming recruit Nick Mattson)

Los Angeles, July 11th-12th (Current Sioux Derek Forbort)

Florida, July 12th-15th (Current Sioux Corban Knight, incoming recruit Rocco Grimaldi, and former Sioux Derrick LaPoint)

NY Islanders, mid-July (Current Sioux Brock Nelson, former Sioux David Toews) - No camp roster to date

I'll have updates and any other articles and video as they become available.

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