Because Killion has recently joined me under the heading of "Having a totally awesome job that leaves my weekdays free for the most part", the two of us decided to jaunt on down to Johnny's today to catch the last day of Prospects Camp. There's always something odd about spending a steamy, July morning (calm down) heading into a heavily air-conditioned building to watch hockey. And not even a real game. Mostly it's a bunch of kids we won't ever hear from again trying to impress coaches we don't know while the real coach signs autographs in the stands as you're surrounded by some people you definitely head to the other side of the bar from (myself at the very top of the list). But whatever, better than doing nothing, right?
I'd love to sit here and try and sound like an expert and proclaim that some kid stood out over everyone else and will soon be cracking TJ Oshie's skull in the corners of the DrinkScotch Center. But I didn't see any of that. As you might expect, these events are a pretty disjointed affair as these kids have barely been together for a weekend and have only been doing drills together for the most part. Maybe that's why the Hawks had a couple of sets of brothers, as they might have a built-in rapport (though that didn't really work with the Hayes Bros. today). Anyway...
-Dylan Olsen was the most composed, but he should be. He's been in Rockford for a half-season. And he still took a pretty stiff right from Andrew Shaw. And I love fights in this setting, where the guys give each other a helmet-tap after they're done. If you have so much respect for each other, why are you punching each other? One of those hockey anti-logic things that we don't question and is pretty damn funny when you think about it. Also, Olsen needs a bit more speed, he got caught lagging a couple times.
-Joe Lavin also looks pretty smooth, but it seems to already be an awfully crowded blue line down at Rock Vegas with Olsen, Shawn Lalonde, Brian Connelly, and Ryan Stanton all requiring minutes and probably another veteran coming in to show the way.
-Jimmy Hayes is a very large boy, and not afraid to "try shit" with the puck. He's got some ways to go, but I imagine the Hawks are salivating about that size.
-Didn't notice Byron Froese at all.
-Philip Danault clearly has the brain, he was everywhere he was supposed to be. Looked pretty small though, will need to spend some time in the gym.
-Don't sit on a hot stove waiting for Mark McNeill to make his business address 1901 W. Madison.
-Maybe my scout's eye sucks, and it probably does, but the two guys I noticed the most were non-drafted invitees. I know, they have to be, as they have to work harder than everyone else to just get a mention. But both Killion and I enjoyed watching the diminutive Stevie Moses (and tell me that's not a great name to say, almost as good as Tobin Heath) skate his ass off today. He's generously listed at 5-9, which if true means McClure should have played college basketball at center. We'll probably never see him again or hear his name (and with that name that's a crying shame), but he capped off his camp with a nifty tip-in for a goal. He's got one year at UNH left where he's probably nothing more than a second or third liner, but I'll be following. The other player I took notice of was Terry Broadhurst, part of the Orland Park brothers. He's even worse off than Moses, as he's already 22 to Moses's 21. But a lot of plays seemed to start with him, and he showed an eye for a pass. It's hard to make anything of these kind of things, and everyone is in varying states of shape. But whatever, none of this matters for this season.
-Oh, and Stan Bowman talked. They're "hopeful" on Frolik and Campoli, which means they aren't all that close and will have to wait on the hearing for Camps and for Frolik's agent to to comeback from Planet Nutbar in negotiations, I'm guess. Olesz won't be bought out, and it sounds like Kruger is going to get every chance. I've actually become fine with this. If there's truly no option out there that Bowman likes -- and there may or may not be but at least he's learned to ot announce such things -- then it makes sense to try a kid he clearly believes in. The Hawks season will not capsize if Kruger starts on the 4th line or wherever or not, and if he doesn't work there's plenty of time and flexibility to find other solutions that weren't available in the summer.
And Rob Klinkhammer re-signed. So we can keep saying Klinkhammer.