BROADCAST BLOGJul 5, 2018
Happy 5th of July ‘Cuda Country, hope you had a safe and fun holiday. Most of you are probably back at work so let’s get you all through the rest of the week with some Sharks Development Camp talk.
I’m sitting at Solar4America Ice periodically looking up from my computer to watch parts of practice. The forwards and defense are split up into two different groups so as I type I can hear Roy Sommer leading around 30 or so forwards through a bevy of skilled drills. The week is no doubt grueling for the players. Heck, the first day, pucks weren’t even used. Instead, players were rigorously tested both on an off the ice. Every piece of data is accumulated and applied to improve each player. Sports nowadays have more analytics than they’ve ever had, and data is king. Sometimes little things like a player wearing the wrong size skate or using the wrong flex on a stick can make a huge difference.
Camp this season began on Tuesday and will conclude on Friday at SAP Center with the Sixth Annual Prospects Scrimmage. Team Ricci vs. Team Marchment and bragging rights on the line.
Tuesday began with 6:30 a.m. bus to the rink, breakfast, and then the players were addressed by Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson. From there, staff conducted physicals, workouts, film, off-ice testing, on-ice testing, etc. Gaging anything from explosiveness to strength, to skill and more. Nutritional tips, one-on-one training, film, recovery, and sleep patterns are all part of the week. In essence, if you want to be a pro hockey player in 2018, you’ve got to incorporate the entire package into your game.
Not to mention, every scout, development coach, and front office executive is watching as prospects, and tryout players look to make an impression.
Like most, this Development Camp features a handful of players who skated for the Barracuda last year, including forwards Rudolfs Balcers, Joachim Blichfeld, Ivan Chekhovich, Sasha Chmelevski, Jon Martin, Colby McAuley, Alex True, and defensemen Mike Brodzinski, Nick DeSimone, Cavan Fitzgerald, Zach Frye, Thomas Gregoire, Jake Middleton and Jeremy Roy.
Also, a handful of players are here that might be with the Barracuda next year. Including forwards Matt Fonteyne, Dylan Gambrell, Noah Gregor, Jayden Halbgewachs, Jeffrey Viel, Evan Weinger, and goaltender Josef Korenar.
In my opinion, Rudolfs Balcers was one of the best players on the ice during last years Dev. Camp and that included Kevin Labanc and Timo Meier. Balcers would go on to lead the Barracuda in goals and points and was named an AHL All-Star as a rookie.
It’s hard for players to stand out in practice scenario’s, but during Thursday’s scrimmage, I could not help but notice Sharks second-round pick from 2017, Mario Ferraro. The 19-year-old packed on some muscle during his freshman season at UMass and has already been named his teams 2018-19 captain. Ferraro won’t be with the ‘Cuda next season, but his offensive instincts and strong skating ability were on full display in game action, netting a goal from the slot on a half-slapper and setting up 2013 Sharks draft pick Jake Jackson with a nifty pass after slipping a pair of defenders in the o-zone.
Friday’s scrimmage will certainly give players a great chance to separate from the pack and open some eyes.
If you haven’t got your tickets for Friday, they're just $10 and can be purchased HERE. Can’t beat summer hockey, right?
That’s it from me. Hope to see you all at the Tank very soon.