Group A was out on the ice on-time as Day 3 of Development Camp began as Kettler. The team started off on the left-side rink with puck handling and passing drills, beginning with individual stick and puck handling drills. As practice continued, the drills developed into one-on-one passing and puck handling drills, group passing drills, and line drills. Group A practice seemed to be geared towards seeing how the players could interact with one another, and how well they could read the plays and move the puck. Aside from Riley Barber almost getting nailed by a puck (he dropped to the ice just in time, nice dodging skills!) practice went smoothly and a few players were able to showcase their passing and puck handling skills.
Stanislav Galiev was a standout player in practice, displaying his ability to both handle the puck well and skate quickly down the ice. While some are quick to point out his size, he makes up for it in big ways by not hesitating to get into the action. He challenges other players and drives towards the net, and his passing is usually on-point. He’s one of those flashy players, too, but not to the point where it overwhelms his game. He made a shot from the knee during practice that displayed both his personality and his creativity making a play. Speaking of shots, Matt Bailey has a nice, hard shot that is very on target. He shot the puck to the net again and again (every time I asked myself who was going to the net, it was Bailey) and fired the puck straight and quick. He skates fast, has a nice backwards skate, and shows the ability to recognize when a scoring chance is available. Andreas Martinsen was one of the fastest skaters on the ice in practice today. He moved the puck from one end of the ice to the other in no time at all, and in one-on-one drills he succeeded in keeping the puck away from his opponent. His speed and physical game (he was up against the boards during some of the drills) are fun to watch.
On the other end of the speed spectrum, Tom Wilson is not a very fast skater. That quality may be reduced due to his size, but he should work on his speed in order to be able to keep up with the other forwards. Wilson did shine in the one-on-one drills though, using his size to his advantage and overpowering his opponents to get the puck.
Adam Oates is a very vocal coach, and seemed to have no trouble communicating with the prospects. The players seemed comfortable approaching him with questions, and he seemed ready to listen to comments or anything else that the players had to say. Oates was able to convey what he wanted from the players clearly and constantly during drills. This open line of communication with the prospects was really nice to see, especially considering the comments made concerning the coach-player communication prior to Oates. If Oates is able to communicate with the rookies this easily, perhaps this trait will transfer over to the professional players, too.
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