It’s that time of year. The NHL Draft has come and gone and now we’re in the heart of the offseason. The annual Canes Prospect Development camp got underway yesterday with hopes of getting the Hurricanes best and brightest prospects off on the right foot when it comes to training and adjusting to a professional hockey lifestyle.
With the first official on-ice session of the offseason under our belts, here are some thoughts:
Canes 2017 first round draft pick Martin Necas impressed last summer earning a chance to make the big club out of training camp. He was eventually sent back overseas with instructions to come back bigger and stronger. After day one all signs indicate he did just that. Necas came into camp twenty pounds heavier and an inch taller. All while not losing a step on the ice. Wow’ing the crowd several times using his speed out wide to create offensive chances, Necas looks like he is not taking no for an answer this season.
In front of Canes fans for the first time, Andrei Svechnikov showed off why he was drafted second overall at this year’s draft. On several occasions, he carved his way through the defense and drove the net to create a scoring chance. It was hard to get a read on how ready Svechnikov is or isn’t for the NHL, but today was a good first step.
— Chris Miracle (@Chris_Miracle91) June 28, 2018
The highlight of Day One at Prospects Camp was clearly Necas and Svechnikov. Several tic-tac-toe passing plays drew “oo’s and ahh’s” from the fans in attendance. It seems as though the Canes are going to let the two young forwards have a chance to play and develop together. This will be fun to watch as both players are big, fast, and dynamic on the puck.
Svechnikov & Necas are roommates this week. They were purposefully utilized as a forward pair tonight.
Brind'Amour: "Those are two pretty important pieces to the future of this franchise, so why not get them together as soon as possible and seen where it goes?” #CanesProspects
— Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) June 27, 2018
Defense To Watch
Among the standouts of Day One, two blueliners looked impressive. Jake Bean and newly acquired Adam Fox showed they are the cream of the crop. Being paired up several times during the practice, they showed a glimpse of what could be a future Hurricanes defensive pairing. Bean has improved on his skating and ability to control the puck as he moves up ice, and Fox looked very creative. Bean will likely need some more seasoning as he continues to grow into his frame. Fox has already stated his intentions to return to Harvard for his Junior year unless the Hurricanes make it known that they want to turn him pro this season. Either way, the Hurricanes continue to keep the defensive pipeline stocked.
Coming off of breakout years in the WHL, Morgan Geekie and Stelio Mattheos came into camp looking to raise their stock even more. Geekie showed flashes of smooth skating, and Mattheos impressed with some strong puck control skills during a battle drill. Both players found a strong knack for the net this past season so keep an eye on these two rising prospects to show off some of that goal scoring ability this week.
Maybe the most intriguing player at camp this week to me is Jack Drury. The 2018 second round draft pick is a dynamic player that skates better than almost anyone at prospects camp. While Necas and Svechnikov have raw speed, Drury has a very mechanically sound stride that creates a lot of power. On the smaller side, Drury uses his skating to get to areas that allow him to engage in the play. He is not flashy and does not draw cheers from the Caniacs who are enamored by Necas and Svechnikov. However, Drury, who is committed to play college hockey at Harvard this season, could quickly become a top prospect for the Canes.
Check back for more updates on Hurricanes Prospect Development Camp.