I managed to poke my head in for several of the sessions, and for a very brief recap of the camp as a whole:
- Garrett Haar comes across as the adorable younger brother we'd all love to have. Thrilled to have him in our system for that alone, but his hockey looks to be coming along as well.
- The Russians are still Russian. Both Orlov and Galiev will benefit from more time on the NA ice surface to adjust their style of play, but in general they were fairly solid. Quirks and weaknesses, sure, but that's to be expected. I figure at least one will land in Hershey (although if it's Orlov, pray that he starts channeling his inner stay-at-home. Right now he needs one of those leashes they put on toddlers, just for training purposes). Kugryshev will likely be back in Chocolate Town again, as well.
- The big!man!Swede is Swedish. Sjogren was head and shoulders above many of his counterparts at camp (literally, in some cases), but he's not quite the hot shit he's been hyped to be. Not sure where I see him fitting in at the moment, but I'd be surprised if it's in Washington come fall. He'll make good inroads at Training Camp, but he's got a bit to prove before he's going to be holding a FT slot here. Not saying it won't happen, but he'll need a spectacular TC.
- Garrett Mitchell has the strongest prairie accent I've heard in a while (it may just be that I've been down here in DC for a few years, but he puts Northern Minnesotans to shame). Just a general observation.
- It's always fun when you get BFFs at camp. Both Lockhart & Elliot were invitees this year (and young ones), but I suspect they might be on the list of "young & undrafted" that McPhee's keeping an eye on. For those confused by the BFF comment, the two are teammates on the Seattle Thunderbirds and enjoy long walks on the beach, candle lit dinners, and (oh, right, the real one) tweeting at each other. Although coming out of BC makes the beach comment a distinct possibility as well.
- T.J. Syner makes Daniel Briere look like a respectable hockey player in the size department. Steffen Soberg does the same for Shawn Hunwick (okay, that's an exaggeration. But our brand new Norwegian goalie prospect is disconcertingly tiny out of his gear. I suspect his official stats - 5' 11" & 176 - were gathered while he was wearing full gear and skates).
- It wasn't until I hit "publish" that I realized Cody Eakin wasn't on the above list. That probably says exactly how much he stood out from the crowd to me on the whole (flaming hair or not), though he did well when on a line with Kugryshev. I think he's got the potential for a fantastic year in Hershey, with a few bounces up to the big club for introductory seasoning.
- I fully realize that those reading this are unlikely to know all of the names I referenced above. That's fine, and completely understandable. Half the point of D-Camp is that it's filled with players who have potential, not current name-recognition.
If you're looking for a more detailed breakdown and analysis I recommend you visit either Ravings of a Rink Rebel or my most recent affiliate publication Capitals Outsider. My fellow writer Alena Schwarz did a wonderful job of recapping the camp in witticisms. I took just shy of a million pictures over 3 days of camera abuse. Most aren't very good, but anything worth seeing will go up on my Flickr account (along with a link) in the next 7-day as well.
On that note, I've started working with Capitals Outsider! My first post went live on Monday: With Teammates Like These...
They're a bit more eclectic in content than publications I've worked with before, but hopefully I'll be able to settle into their style soon enough. Expect a follow-up piece or two on D-Camp somewhere within the next few days. I've also posted a couple of pieces for Puck 'N Hockey in the last month, and will have another upcoming for them as well.
Things have been busy on this end, and promise to continue to be so, but at least they're getting more stable. Over the next few months, RtC will start carrying a bit more regular officiating-related content, likely bi-weekly articles to start with. It's spillover from my gig with Something's Bruin, which is potentially getting restructured this summer. More details as I have them.