Senators Development Camp (days one through four)

-This is the list of attendees and activities for the camp (with two apparent errors: Daniel New is not at the camp).  The on-ice session are open to the public.

-Here are the Sens prospects introducing themselves on Sens TV.  Not included is Mikael Wikstrand (who had not yet arrived from Sweden) and Jeff Costello (who may not yet have arrived).

-Here’s Sens TV’s look back on day oneday two, and day four of the camp.  For some reason there’s no video for day three posted yet.

-Wayne Scanlan writes about Randy Lee‘s long tenure with the organisation (going back to 1995) and it’s worth reading through to appreciate the man whose fingerprints are all over so many of the team’s players.

Senschirp writes about a Q&A with Dave Cameron and Steve Stirling and they mentioned the most NHL-ready prospects in Binghamton were Mark Borowiecki, Eric Gryba, Mike Hoffman, and Patrick Wiercioch.

Cody Ceci has been blogging throughout the camp and the most interesting comment thus far was “We spent a lot of time on stickhandling drills today. I’ve never done a full hour of stickhandling.”  This surprises me, given just how important puck control and puck management is at all levels of the game.

-I went to the scrimmage on Thursday evening, which was thoroughly entertaining.  The place was packed and the game was competitive.  There wasn’t much scoring (Mike Hoffman getting the lone goal).  Hoffman also hit Jordan Fransoo in the face–ouch!  It was the most physical scrimmage I’ve seen, but as expected the play was pretty scrambly.   Many bloggers were blogging during the game and while I don’t think much can be concluded about individual players from the session, I thought I’d collect some comments to provide a range of fan opinions.  Peter Raaymakers provides thoughts on twelve players in the game, praising Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Stefan Noesen, Darren Kramer, Corey Cowick, Mika Zibanejad, Cody Ceci, Mark Borowiecki; he had more mixed feelings about Trevor Van Riemsdyk and Cole Schneider.  Random thoughts of mine:
Brad Peltz – was cheating defensively and was impatient in the offensive zone
Michael Sdao – some poor first passes lead to turnovers; was strong along the boards
Darren Kramer – always gave an extra shot after he threw a hit
Chris Driedger and Francois Brassard – were solid except on the penalty shots

-Inspired by all the ink spilled about the Ottawa 67s connection between Shane Prince and Cody Ceci, I thought I’d spill some ink of my own on other connections between Sens prospects:
*Corey Cowick (08-10), Shane Prince (09-12), and Cody Ceci (09-12) all played for the Ottawa 67s
*Mark Borowiecki, Corey Cowick, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Cody Ceci, and Francois Brassard are all from the greater Ottawa area
*Ceci and Matt Puempel both played on Team Ontario’s U-17 team (09-10)
*Mike Hoffman (06-07) and Shane Prince (08-10) were both originally Kitchener Rangers, but not at the same time and under different coaches
*Hoffman (07-08) and Jean-Gabriel Pageau (09-12) played for Gatineau, but again not at the same time and under different coaches
*Pageau (08-09) and Brassard (09-10) both played for the QMAAA L’Intrepide, but in different years
*Mark Stone and Chris Driedger are both from Winnipeg
*Stone (08-12) and Jordan Fransoo (09-12) both played for Brandon
*Darren Kramer (10-11) was a teammate of Jared Cowen‘s in Spokane
*Mike Zibanejad and Fredrik Claesson both played for Djurgarden throughout their junior and professional careers and were also teammates on this season’s WJC team
*Zibanejad and Mikael Wikstrand were teammates on Sweden’s U-18 team (10-11); Claesson played the year before (09-10) and Lehner the year before that (08-09)
*Lehner (07-08) was a teammate of Erik Karlsson‘s in Frolunda’s junior system
*Chris Wideman (07-08), Bryce Aneloski (07-10), and Jeff Costello (08-10) all played for Cedar Rapids in the USHL
*Max McCormick and Ryan Dzingel both play for Ohio in the NCAA; they also both played on the US U-19 team (10-11)
*Michael Sdao (07-09) and Ryan Dzingel (09-11) both played for Lincoln in the USHL and while not at the same time they were both coached by Jim McGroarty
*Ben Blood (07-08) and Robert Baillargeon (11-12) both played for Indiana in the USHL, but far apart and under different coaches

Senators News: June 29th

Darren Kramer talks about his approach to becoming a pro, “I want to come in with a positive attitude and try to make Ottawa. But as a realist I know I’m going to have to spend some a little bit of time in the minors to develop. I have to improve my strength and conditioning. But mostly it’s my foot speed and my skating, and if I can get that up to par, then I think I have a really good chance of one day being an Ottawa Senator. I’d like to contribute and be considered trustworthy to be on the ice in the defensive zone. Times are changing. Guys who can only fight are starting to get weeded out. And if you look at my (6-2, 210-pound) frame, I’m not a big 6-7 guy. I’m an average-size player, so I have to be able to contribute offensively and be trustworthy in the defensive zone.”  Randy Lee talked about him saying, “He wasn’t there [in Spokane] as a thug. He played in important situations. He knows he’s got to be quicker off the mark and he’s got to be a faster skater. But he’s a big strong kid and he’s got a Chris Neil-type work ethic. He cares, he’s a team guy. He doesn’t like to fight just for the sake of fighting. He does it to protect his teammates. Or if something needs to be taken care of, he’ll do that. He’s a project, for sure. “But he’s got enough tools that he’s hopefully going to evolve, but it may not be overnight.”

-Tim Murray spoke briefly about Michael Sdao, “He plays a hard, physical game, he’s hard to play against. Because those are the guys you win with.”  Sdao himself said, “We have a great coaching staff at Princeton. All three of our coaches played college hockey and then went on to play pro. I think I’m learning a lot from them. This is my last year at school and I’m going to take a leadership role on the team. I’m looking forward to that and having a good year. You always want to finish strong. I like to think that back in the day I could [fight]. But I’ve got to sharpen up on those skills, too.”  Sdao was considered one of the best fighters in his draft year (2009).

Stu Hackel looks at what teams in the Eastern Conference need and for Ottawa he says “It remains unclear if captain Daniel Alfredsson will return, but even if he does, the Senators will be in the hunt for a top-six forward (and they’ve been mentioned in conjunction with the Rick Nash sweepstakes). But with pending UFA Filip Kuba likely not returning, they’ll also be looking for an experienced defenseman, preferably a stay-at-home-type, perhaps to partner with Norris Trophy-winner Erik Karlsson (Kuba’s old gig), or a shutdown guy.”  So Hackel simply reiterates what we’ve heard before: stay-at-home blueliner and a top-six scoring (for the right price).  I still think it will only be one of the two via free agency and that will be the defenseman.

DaveYoung throws his two cents into the Justin Schultz sweepstakes (picking up on the Bob McKenzie Tweeted news that the Minnesota Wild are also on his list) and comes to the conclusion that Ottawa is the best fit for him.  While I disagree (he could play 30 minutes a night with Edmonton), he does remind us why the Schultz sweepstakes are different than Matt Gilroy, Fabian Brunnstrom, or Bobby Butler: “Schultz was drafted [#43], was identified early as being a player with a serious ceiling.”  This is exactly why teams wet themselves when they found out he was going to become a free agent.

-There have been a lot of bio’s of players at the development camp, but most have simply reiterated what’s been said before so I haven’t commented on them.  For those interested here’s Mark Stone, Mark Borowiecki, Mika Zibanejad and Matt Puempel.

-My first look at the development camp should come out today (including a look at last night’s scrimmage).  For those who didn’t attend or watch it being streamed it was a lot of fun and while there’s very little seating and the PA system is incomprehensible, fans should definitely check it out if they have the opportunity.