Dev. Camp – Day Two Observations

OTTAWA, ON - JUNE 20:  25th overall pick, Greg Nemisz of the Calgary Flames poses for a portrait at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft at Scotiabank Place on June 20, 2008 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)


I limited my viewing to the afternoon session today, so I won’t be commenting on the morning power skating stuff.

The guys participated in a number of drills today, mostly end-to-end rushes, break-out formations and cycling drills. Aside from one drill to end the practice (4-on-2’s in split ice) there wasn’t a lot of competition exercises so my ability to really differentiate between players was again limited.

My thoughts after the jump:

– GIFFEN NYREN looked a bit more comfortable in the puck drills as opposed to the pure power skating. In fact, Chris Breen looked like the more awkward defender.

– For the second straight day, none of the newly drafted guys stood out one way or the other to me. I had to seek out Reinhart, Leach, Ferland and Arnold in order to notice them and even when I was watching I wouldn’t rate them as either above or below average.

– Mikael Backlund was especially noticable during full ice skating/shooting drills. Fast and smooth with the puck on his stick.

– TJ Brodie really stood out in a similar fashion during those exercises. Very quick with an accurate shot.

– I noticed Lance Bouma more than I expected. Nothing outrageous, but his hands and skating were better than I would have predicted.

– A guy I expected to notice more was Ryan Howse. Hasn’t caught my eye once in the last two days. Ditto Tim Erixon.

– Mitch Wahl was excellent all around. Hayley noticed he had trouble hitting the net yesterday, but he managed more than one top corner snipe this afternoon. I noticed he completed almost every drill without incident.

– Greg Nemisz ran both hot and cold for me today. He fired an absolute laser beam to the top shelf from the top of the circle during one sequence – and then tripped over his own feet while mishandling a pass soon after. His skating and foot quickness still strike me as a concern, but there’s no doubt that the dude can shoot the puck.

  • Grant F

    Everytime I see Bouma I notice him – either because of a smart play or just because he’s being an aggravating force on the ice.

    I’m not sure where he fits in long-term – 4th liner or can he be a valuable spark-plug/irritant who gives you some offense on the third line.

    Or of course he could not make the NHL at all – though I don’t think that’s likely.

  • Grant F

    bouma, rheault, meyers, brodie, wahl & backlund (of cousre). everyone else is kindof…”meh.” i’m gonna attend tomorrow, i think, and tops on the schedule is a keen eye on irving and ortio. i wanna see if irv’s fivehole looks any smaller this year, and if ortio will impress me as much as he did in the wjc.

  • Bob

    I can’t say I’m too surprised about Bouma. I had the chance to see him when the Giants came to play the Hitmen and I got the same impression as you did. I never saw him take over a game or make that amazing play that turned the tide…but he was always a factor in seemingly all areas. I’ve told others to keep an eye on him. He may not always show up on the stat sheet, but he’s always doing the little things well. Those are some of the things coaches notice.

    I recently had a conversation with someone who will be observing the camp who is not sure Backlund is ready yet. He brought up Dustin Boyd and said that Boyd was only given a handful of chances to play on the top 2 lines and didn’t cut and his worry is that Backlund is not ready and will get deflated if he’s thrown in the same scenario. I countered that both had time with the top 2 lines last season and I always thought Boyd seemed almost overwhelmed by it. Backlund almost seemed ready for it though. While mistakes were made, it should be expected. I thought when he was with the big club he was more visible than most of the roster and did not seem out of place. The question at this time…is there a spot for him on this club?

  • third string plumber

    What’s up with this site anyways the same type of article on oilersnation would have over a 100 comments already what’s up flame fans cat got your tongue