Isles mini-camp is now three days in, and sooner than later it will be over. For some of these kids, getting better in certain areas before camp ends is the main goal as well as making a good impression on the coaching staff.
Going through camp has shown these prospects the hard work that needs to be put in and how much faster the game is at the NHL level.
After today’s practice, Michael Dal Colle, Ryan Pulock and Eamon McAdam all expressed their thoughts on camp so far and what’s to come once its over.
“This camp has definitely helped me get stronger and faster. Last year was my first camp, and I gained a lot from that. Looking at guys like Tavares and Okposo, you learn a lot. The second time around is a lot easier,” Dal Colle expressed when asked if having experienced camp last year helped him going into this year.
2015 third round pick Mitch Vande Sompel is missing camp with an injury, but that didn’t stop Dal Colle, his Oshawa teammate from singing his praises.
Dal Colle called Vande Sompel awesome, and felt he should have went higher than he did in the draft. “I think he was a steal for New York in my opinion,” Dal Colle said. Another thing Dal Colle pointed out is that MVS played both defense and forward this past season which to exhibited his versatility and skill.
Ryan Pulock has been the biggest name to watch at mini-camp. Expectations are high for him as he heads into training camp with the big club come September.
Pulock conveyed that he’s felt more comfortable around camp this time around because of his awareness of the systems, and what the coaches preach to the players every day. To take the next step to become an elite NHL defenseman, Pulock said he is and still needs to work on his game in the defensive zone. Asked what he’s looking to improve on before he leaves for the summer, Pulock indicated he has to work on the same things not only from this camp, but camps from the past, technically seeing footwork and other defensive aspects.
Just like Pulock, goaltender Eamon McAdam has been through several of these mini-camps.
When approached if he’s becoming more adjusted to the pace and skill it takes to be in the NHL, McAdam said, “Definitely. Every time your out there on the ice with great players, your improving. Camps like this are a great opportunity to hone your skills.”
The 6’3 Penn State product also spoke about how the scrimmage game, the night before, calling it the fastest action he has seen since coming into these camps in 2012.
McAdam stated that he is going to continue to work on all things goalie coach Mike Dunham and the other goalie coaches have thrown at him.
Camp might be ending soon, but the work is just beginning.