Eric Majeski's (aka Netwolf) Camp Reports for LetsGoPens.com
2014 Development Camp, Day 3
July 18, 2014
The third day of development camp saw its third different format. Everyone was out for a single session today, and the groups were broken out into four separate teams. They opened up with a couple of drills to get everyone warmed up, then spent the rest of the session scrimmaging three on three at either end of the rink.
For those that don't remember this from last year, they basically set up two mini-rinks at either end. The rink is sectioned off by a bunch of long pads that run along either blueline. Nets are positioned along the half wall inside end. Two forwards, one defenseman and one goaltender per side play. Everyone else waits in the neutral zone. Players change on the fly at the coach's whistle.
It's impossible to catch everything that happens in this one, as the short rink makes to a ton of action, and there's two such games going on at the same time. It does really allow individual skill to come to the forefront though.
Second year pro Anton Zlobin was the most noticeable guy for me. He showed off the puck skills he's known for, torturing goalies with his shot. The short rink made him a threat from almost anywhere. He also showed some other elements he's not really known for. His agility was great, and at one point Oskar Sundqvist appeared to have him covered in the corner, but Zlobin made a tremendous stop and start move along with a should fake and completely crossed him up. He also had two takeaways on a single shift, both leading to chances.
Jake Guentzel, last year's third rounder, also impressed. He's a smaller, speedy forward with very deceptive hands and good vision. He made an incredible fake on the rush and froze everyone, then dished to Teddy Blueger, who looked to have also bought the fake. He looked surprised and couldn't quite get the shot off. Guentzel pulled a similar move off later, but tough defenseman Ryan Segalla put it over the bar.
Speaking of Segalla, he was noticeable today for a vastly different reason than anyone else I'll mention: he was drilling guys. There weren't any huge, open ice hits, but anytime someone made the mistake of getting close, they felt it. He didn't look out of place skating-wise either.
Jeff Taylor, the Pens' final pick in this year's draft, was another guy that looked really comfortable out there. He's a really mobile kid that does really well with the puck. He made a fake shot, slap pass all the way across the ice that was so good, that even though the recipient didn't take it clean, still had plenty of net to put it in.
Brian Dumoulin took advantage of the format to show more offensive ability. He was rushing the puck a lot, spinning around or off guys, even dangling a little. He looked really good doing it, but I don't think you'll see that as much when he makes it to the NHL. Still, nice to know he's capable of it.
JS Dea was good too. He's very quick and is great at darting in and out of traffic. He went coast to coast, deking by Anthony Angello, and then putting a low laser past Matt Murray's glove. Later, he would score late for his team with their goalie pulled. He's not the biggest guy out there, but competes hard. He took a few solid hits, but kept going and wasn't hesitant to go into traffic.
Dominik Uher appeared to be in some pain after taking a hard slash around the hands that caused him to lose his stick late in the scrimmage. He never left the ice though and ended up winning the final game in the shootout. He still looked to be in some pain though.
Following the scrimmages, the teams competed in full ice shootout. This is where Blaine Byron stood out. You may remember last year's 6th round pick as the guy that pulled of the Datsyuk move a couple of times in development camp. This year, he went to the one-handed Peter Forsberg move, which seemed to tick Murray off. His second attempt was reminiscent of Patrick Kane. He came straight in on tryout Jake Hildebrand, made about 10 moves, and found a small enough hole to squeeze the puck through.
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