I was at Development Camp today for drills and scrimmage. No power-skating today for which I’m sure the players are thankful. This is the third year I’ve gone to the Bruins development camp and the range of talent is both narrower and on average higher than the first one I went to. There’s not a single skater at this camp who wouldn’t be at least an average NHL skater. Nobody was laboring or looking clumsy skating in either the drills or the scrimmage.
As tightly bunched top to bottom as the group is, I don’t think anyone looked out of place but some people stood out for one reason or another.
Hamilton: Great skating, really nice puck control in traffic, and a whole lot of speed. While a few pounds lighter, he’s probably about the same speed as Blake Wheeler. Quick shot.
Cross: Looks great. Definitely a leader in camp, the younger players listen closely. Moves well laterally, takes up a lot of space and has a very upright skating style. He and Hamilton were, against their development camp peers, the best defensive unit in scrimmage and special teams practice.
Knight: Great skater, doesn’t look to have lost any speed as he bulked up over last camp. Able to receive a pass and get rid of it again in no time. High end shot release. Took part in the penalty killing practice as well as the powerplay ones.
Khokhlachev: Did well at faceoffs, aggressive forecheck took up a lot of space at center ice as the other team was coming back with the puck, not afraid to go into the corners or traffic.
Button: Pretty well rounded, doesn’t do any thing at a level that will get him compare to Bourque, Orr or Chara, but does all things well.
Florek: Great wheels, displays high end sniper potential.
Spooner: Damn pretty passes, one of the two or three best skaters and a willing shooter.
Cantin: Skates well, shows a bit more physicality than some of the other defense men at camp. People have called him a Mark Stuart type, I don’t disagree and he skates a bit better.
Spinell: Fun to watch, one of the bigger players in camp. Went undrafted, plays defense for Miami University (Ohio) after having come up through the USHL.
Cunningham: Nice shot release, didn’t seem to miss the net much.
Volden: Showed some nice coast to coast movement.
Some pictures from today can be found in my Flickr. I’ll be present on Monday as well.