I attended both morning sessions for the forwards and defenders today, as well as a good portion of the mixed afternoon practice. Today was more about building some familiarity with the players overall and my observations will build as the week progresses. Obviously one day lacking any sort of game action is a poor barometer for a player’s overall effectiveness, but I’ll share what stuck with me nonetheless. Here are my thoughts in no particular order:
– Walk-on try out Giffen Nyren is in tough. The Flames defender ranks are packed and his skating is below average by my eye. Similarly, Chris Breen skates about as well you would expect for a 6’06", 225 pound man.
– The concerns about Bryan Cameron’s skating are not overblown. He’s awkward fundamentally and that combined with his size probably explains why he went undrafted despite putting up some nice numbers. Keep in mind his strengths likely lie in game situations and not in skating drills.
– John Negrin was on the ice in the mornin but is still clearly not 100%.
– Overagers like Josh Meyers and Jon Rheault stood out in a good way. Meyers is solid in all areas and Rheault’s quickness and puck skills are evident. That said, being several years older than most of the group puts them at a sizable advantage.
That’s the bulk of it from day 1. More after the afternoon session tomorrow.