Thoughts & Observations From Flames Prospect Camp, Pt. II

developmentcamp

I attended the afternoon session at Flames Development Camp yesterday, and the action was significantly more entertaining than Tuesday's session, although not that much more telling in terms of actual ability. The prospects were divided into two groups and participated in a brief 4-on-4 scrimmage, and they also practiced line rushes, as well as getting traffic in front of the net and shooting from the point. Some notes transcribed from the hasty scribblings on my roster sheet after the jump. 

  • After being largely unnoticeable during my first day at Prospect Camp, Mikael Backlund was clearly a man amongst boys yesterday afternoon. He skated extremely well and made several nice plays during the line rush drills and the scrimmage where he went around a defenceman and tapped the puck into the net with one hand on his stick and another where he split the defence and nearly scored.
  • John Negrin didn't participate in the afternoon session, but apparently skated this morning. Ryley Grantham and Logan MacMillan are also on the injury list, and we observed the oft-injured John Armstrong donning a white jersey and sitting out on all contact drills yesterday afternoon. 
  • Bryan Cameron was relatively invisible again, unfortunately. I expected him to be better in front of the net and along the boards, but he appeared to be pushed off the puck with ease. He was stripped and/or lost control of the puck a few times as well, by my eye. I've been most disappointed in him and Ryan Howse, who has been absolutely invisible--to the point where we thought he was injured--this week, as they were two of the players I was most excited about watching. 
  • Greg Nemisz had a better afternoon yesterday than he did on Tuesday. After a rough start, he seemed to find his legs about half way through the session. He forced his way to the front of the net on a couple plays and created a few good scoring chances, and also made a good defensive play where he stuck with his man all the way back and pushed him to the outside, negating any possible scoring chance. 
  • If Tim Erixon has a weakness, it's likely his shot. Although it appeared relatively accurate, it's not hard enough to do any damage and he seems to have trouble getting the puck very high up off the ice. He seemed frustrated after misreading a 2-on-1 during the scrimmage, and hit his stick against the glass en route to the bench. 
  • T.J. Brodie also doesn't seem to have the hardest shot, but I suspect he is more of a playmaker. He did demonstrate his ability to initiate a zone breakout with a good first pass. As I mentioned on Wednesday, Ron Sutter is very high on this guy, and Jim Playfair seems quite fond of him as well. 
  • Invitee Giffen Nyren turned in a better showing yesterday afternoon. Despite his struggles with skating, he put himself in good defensive position in front of the net and along the boards, where he stood up opposition forwards on a couple occasions. Even though he's not the biggest guy, he appears capable of physically punishing opponents
  • Similarly, Chris Breen uses his size to his advantage in front of the net, fending off opposing forwards. He doesn't have the the most accurate shot, however; think wide, but not high. 
  • Mitch Wahl had another solid day; he wasn't especially noticeable, but made a few good moves and created some time and space for himself. Nothing too flashy, which I'm starting to believe is going to be his career M.O. 
  • None of the most recent draft class (Bill Arnold, Patrick Holland, Michael Ferland, Max Reinhart, or Joey Leach) were noticeable without actively seeking them out. John Ramage is attending Team USA's U20 Development Camp in Lake Placid, according to Rob Kerr's Twitter 
Unfortunately that will be it for my observations from this year's Prospect Development Camp, as I'll be working today and tomorrow, but I hope I provided some limited insight for those of you who couldn't attend. Have a good weekend everyone, and be sure to include celebrations of at least one more season of Ian White's mustache in your activities!  
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