Eric Majeski's (aka Netwolf) Camp Reports for LetsGoPens.com
2013 Development Camp, Day 2
July 17, 2013
First off, the obligatory, self-promotion and patting myself on the back: The Penguins extended me an invitation to Prospect Development Camp this week, so I was back there this morning and will continue to be all week. Check back here for daily reports and follow me on Twitter @LGP_netwolf for observations during each session.
The rest of the week shakes out like this:
Thursday, July 18th: 10am-noon
Friday, July 19th: 9:15-11:30am
Saturday, July 20th: 3-5pm Scrimmage (Free & Open to Public)
Drill-wise, things were a little more interesting today. They started off with a 5-on-none drill that simulated an offensive zone faceoff. Center wins it back to the defenseman who goes back down the near wall to a forward circling back towards him. That forward then feeds another guy in the high slot, towards the near circle for a one-timer. Later versions would see the first defenseman pass to his partner for a one-timer. Another variation had the simulated faceoff in the defensive zone so they could work breakouts a little. There was no opposition on these; the purpose was just to get everyone in position and moving more than anything else.
The next set of drills provided the first bit of competition. Forwards went at the defense one-on-one, and then the forward would turn back up ice, picking up a partner for a 2-on-1. No time to rest for the defensemen in this combo drill; right after they defended the 1-on-1, they had to get back up ice, then pivot backwards to defend the incoming pair of forwards. Lots of skating going on here as there was non-stop action at both ends of the rink.
The next set of drills was considerably less interesting. Players lined up at the blueline on either wall, with a pick in the corner. A player from each line skated to it, tapped it off the wall and skated out. Seemed odd, but it ended up being a stepping stone to the next drill, which added another player and became a quick transition breakout. First person would reverse the puck off the boards to the second, and then got up ice quickly. Second player picked up the puck and got it back to the first as soon as possible.
The final drill saw the nets moved to the neutral zone for some 2-on-2 hockey. All of the other players were positioned along the bluelines, except for 4 guys; 2 along each goal line. All of the stationary players could be used as passing outlets though. Not much open ice out there and lots of stickhandling and skating in tight quarters.
Adam Payerl was mentioned by Tom Fitzgerald yesterday as a guy to watch that could possibly be a fit for the big club's bottom 6 at some point. At 6'3" and 218 lbs, the 22 year old already has NHL size and skates pretty well. He isn't the most skilled guy out there, but isn't a liability with the puck either. Consistently drove the net in the battle drills and there wasn't really anyone that could handle his strength, but you have to keep in mind he had 15-20lbs on most everyone he faced. Maybe he projects as a Mike Rupp type. Not the loftiest of comparisons, but guys like that are valuable to any hockey team.
Scott Harrington fared well. He had some issues with Payerl, but did a pretty good job positionally and showed strength of his own against some of the other forwards.
Blaine Byron, this year's 6th round pick, showed off great hands and skating today. Somehow, he managed to get a breakaway in the mini-hockey game and pulled off a Datsyukian move that beat Murray easily. It pretty much looked like this, minus the awful jersey Turco has on: http://youtu.be/xH08Kvwu9Og
Tom Kuhnhackl continued his recovery, looking solid. Nothing spectacular, but he and Jayson Megna tend to stick out a bit amongst their group of forwards. Those two are the only ones with any pro experience.
Olli Maatta was really impressive today. His skating really stands out. He doesn't have top end speed, but is above average. His agility is what's the most impressive. On the drill where they were banking pucks off the wall in the corner, he was getting turned back up ice really fast, better than anyone else I watched. Didn't seem to lose much speed in doing so either. He was excellent in the mini-game, drawing several "Good D, Olli!" comments from the coaches. Almost always in position and was really good at taking away space with his stick.
Eric Hartzell was really solid in the mini-game. I don't believe he gave up a goal. At 6'4", there's not a ton of net to shoot at, that's for sure.
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