The Blue Jackets Development Camp ran last week, starting from July 9th and ending on Friday July 12 (13th for goaltenders). Kristyn Repke of BlueJackets.com gives some great insight about what exactly the Development Camp is and what it consists of;
Development camp is an annual invitation-only based camp for Blue Jackets prospects, held by the Blue Jackets organization. Blue Jackets player development coach Chris Clark, a former NHL player and captain, is taking the lead on this year’s camp and aims to give the players a first-hand look at the organization and life in the NHL.
There are 31 prospects scheduled to participate this year: 19 forwards, eight defensemen and four goalies. These players are all invited by the organization to participate in the camp, and have either been drafted by the Blue Jackets (all eight selections in the 2013 NHL Draft will be present for camp), acquired via trade/free agency or spent time in the organization playing with the Springfield Falcons.
2013 first round draft pick Alexander Wennberg had this to say about the Development Camp;
“I was a little rusty because I haven’t been on the ice in a month, so it wasn’t the best practice. It’s nice to be back out there, and play against those players because all the players here are good. And putting on that Columbus Blue Jackets jersey is something you look forward to.”
“I feel like I need to get stronger. There are a lot bigger players here and it’s a little different hockey than in Sweden. So for me, it’s pretty obvious that I need to gain some more weight. But in my game, I feel like I need to be a little more aggressive but otherwise, just play my type of game.”
2013 first round draft pick Kerby Rychel also talks about his experience at the Development Camp;
“It’s something that every kid dreams about growing up and who plays hockey,” Rychel said. “To get drafted and then come to their first pro camp, it’s definitely really exciting. This is a great experience.
“I’ll try to leave a good first impression (on Blue Jackets management),” Rychel said. “You only get one good first impression, and once camp comes around, I’m going to do whatever I can to make the team. I think there’s always pressure, I mean, you’re in your first NHL camp so obviously you’re going to be a little bit nervous.
“I know the NHL is a big step up from junior, but regardless, I’m going to work as hard as I can no matter what happens.”
Here are some more notes on other players and the Development Camp;
Marko Dano has been one of a handful of players to go through a whirlwind couple of weeks after the NHL Draft. He’s a native of Slovakia, played professional hockey in Austria in a Russian league and could very well end up in North America this season. He’s got great energy in every shift, can rip the puck and he’s built like a truck.
Days after being completely cleared for contact (and bringing his six-month rehab period to a close), defenseman Ryan Murray took the ice once again and needed about one practice to shake off the rust. While there’s minimal physical contact and – as many like to say, it’s *just* practice – you can’t ignore Murray’s elite level skill set. He’s a hell of a player.
Looking for more coverage of last weeks Development Camp? Here is CBJ’s Development Camp Central from BlueJackets.NHL.com.
Other news from last week, the preseason schedule for the 2013-2014 season was released…
The Blue Jackets open preseason play by hosting the Penguins at Nationwide Arena on Sunday, September 15 at 6 p.m. ET. That contest is the first of four home preseason games at Nationwide Arena. The Jackets will also host the Sabres on Tuesday, September 17; Wild on Monday, September 23; and Hurricanes on Thursday, September 26.
Check out the rest of the preseason schedule here.