NHL rookie camp standouts: Who impressed in Buffalo, Penticton and Traverse City?

NHL coaching camps formally opened this previous weekend, with rookie tournaments happening throughout the NHL panorama. Today we talk about who stood out at three of the primary occasions: the event in Buffalo that includes Boston, Montreal, New Jersey, Ottawa and Pittsburgh; the event in Penticton, BC, with Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Vancouver; and Traverse City, Mich., which featured Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, St. Louis and Toronto.

Corey Pronman was on the Buffalo event, though he wasn’t in attendance for the ultimate recreation. Thomas Drance reported from Penticton, and Max Bultman was in Traverse City. Overall, listed below are the handful of prospects we chosen from every event who we felt stood out, with an eye fixed in the direction of gamers we felt helped their possibilities of cracking the massive membership or gave sturdy impressions of future professional potential.


Buffalo Tournament: Corey Pronman

Owen Beck, C, Montreal: Beck’s event wasn’t one stuffed with flashy moments, however he was a play-driver down the center. He’s not that massive, however his compete stage was fairly good, successful lots of battles and exhibiting his recreation had tempo. He did that whereas making some performs and being concerned in the offense. He could by no means be high-end at something in the NHL, however he has a well-rounded talent set and seemed like a man who will probably be efficient as a professional.

Fabian Lysell, RW, Boston: Lysell was probably the most noticeable participant on Boston from a expertise perspective, as together with his wonderful skating and talent he gave the impression to be the one ahead who might make issues occur constantly from a zone entry or likelihood creation perspective. He’s nonetheless not that bodily imposing, however I feel he is engaged on being extra constant together with his effort and it has been noticeable in the previous few months.

Jiri Kulich, C, Buffalo: Kulich has had a robust previous couple of months, constructing off his MVP efficiency on the U18 Worlds with a superb World Junior and good camp performances for Buffalo. He performed the center at this event versus the wing and seemed snug. Kulich is not the very best at anybody factor, however his mixture of velocity, work ethic and talent allowed him to drive play and make issues occur at the same time as an 18-year-old going towards older gamers. He’s doubtless going to start out the season in the AHL, and so far as I can inform he seems to be prepared to assist a staff at that stage.

Simon Nemec, RHD, New Jersey: Nemec’s recreation wasn’t stuffed with spotlight reels or the bodily dominance of a participant like Juraj Slafkovsky, however he was fairly efficient in his video games. His hockey sense is great, and you noticed it via the matches the place he all the time appeared to make the precise choices with the puck, conserving the play transferring up ice and creating offense as effectively. He mixed that with stable defensive work. I’d desire him to play another yr exterior the NHL, however you may inform how a lot professional expertise he has with how environment friendly and quick his puck-movement is.

Shane Pinto, C, Ottawa: Pinto was fairly good in the one recreation he performed. His sturdy abilities and aggressive ranges have been evident and he was typically making optimistic issues occur across the puck. He had a mid-game harm scare, which wasn’t excellent after lacking a lot time not too long ago as a result of harm, however he got here again and completed the sport. He seems to be primed to play a featured position on the Senators.

Samuel Poulin, C, Pittsburgh: Poulin line did very effectively in the one recreation the Penguins performed. I do not assume he stood out and took over, however I favored how Poulin’s recreation seemed. He was successful lots of battles, competing effectively and was across the recreation on high of ending performs. He additionally seemed snug taking part in the center, a truth I mistakenly didn’t allude to in my earlier write-up of Poulin, as he performed middle through the second half of the earlier season.

Juraj Slafkovsky, LW, Montreal: Slafkovsky wasn’t all around the rating sheet in his two video games, however he stood out as you’d hope the 2022 first general decide would, notably in his first recreation. There have been instances Slafkovsky bodily overmatched his opponents together with his huge body. His velocity, attain and talent mixture additionally allowed him to generate a ton of fresh entries. He obtained and generated loads of scoring probabilities and general was probably the most spectacular professional prospect at this occasion, as considerably anticipated.


Penticton Tournament: Thomas Drance

Danila Klimovich, RW, Vancouver: Klimovich is bodily imposing, enormously expert and has high-end attacking instincts, however he is solely actually performed one yr of high-level aggressive hockey and it could actually present in his positioning and particulars. In Vancouver’s first recreation, for instance, Klimovich misplaced his mood, wasted possession with poor shot choice, struggled to make use of his linemates and was always out of place. From there, nonetheless, Klimovich took over, turning pucks over on the forecheck, supporting effectively alongside the wall and threading passes via defenders at will. An enchanting participant growth experiment, if Klimovich can iron out the blind spots in his hockey IQ, there is a ton of potential right here. His second North American skilled season obtained off to a wildly spectacular begin this weekend.

Cole Perfetti, C, Winnipeg: Perfetti discovered a method to make a big impression in Penticton, regardless of some poor play from the Jets’ prospect staff as a complete. There’s a supercomputer stage of processing that is obvious once you watch Perfetti carefully, and it permits him to make an impression whether or not he is scoring or not. Defensively, he was wonderful, with a disruptive stick and the intelligence to learn and react in some robust circumstances, which was essential as Winnipeg’s prospects spent a lot of the event with out the puck. Aside from the third interval of Winnipeg’s remaining event recreation, which he fully took over, Perfetti most constantly demonstrated his puck abilities and playmaking on the ability play, the place he was wonderful at effectively creating probabilities for his teammates.

Connor Zary, LW/C, Calgary: Zary’s on-ice intelligence and competitiveness have been unmistakable this weekend. Playing as each a middle and on the wing, Zary’s tempo, oft-cited as his largest space for enchancment, wasn’t remotely a problem, and his anticipation, stick dealing with and capability to guard the puck in visitors allowed him to skate via defenders , win battles and get across the ice at will. Zary took shedding personally, performed with edge and went to the online arduous. He had a few questionable choices with the puck too, however he generated probabilities and had the look of a participant who was a bounce away from breaking out offensively all through the event.

Dylan Holloway, W, Edmonton: The Oilers’ prospect staff was simply probably the most gifted aspect on the Penticton event, and Holloway was their most constantly dynamic participant. With his mixture of velocity and measurement, Holloway simply seemed like an NHL participant all through the event. He confirmed extra creativity than I’d anticipated, creating quite a few scoring probabilities in Edmonton’s first event recreation, and was credited with an help in that recreation (though I believed he ought to’ve been credited with one other one as effectively). Holloway contributed on each particular groups models, exhibiting fairly good really feel for the bumper spot on the ability play, and was counted on to play in leverage conditions — each late in a one-goal recreation on Friday, and with the opponent’s internet empty on Saturday night time. Perhaps most significantly, Holloway’s shot seemed fully unencumbered by the wrist surgical procedures that triggered him to overlook time final fall:


Traverse City Tournament: Max Bultman

Kent Johnson, C, Columbus: Johnson was probably the most spectacular — and only — gamers in Traverse City this weekend. He had the puck quite a bit, attacked with tempo, and his apparent talent and hockey sense translated on the scoresheet with six factors (two targets, 4 assists) in three video games. He did look a bit timid at instances in a bodily recreation towards St. Louis early in the event — one thing to look at as he makes his NHL roster push — however even in that recreation he had a aim and two assists by the top of the night time. And when the Blue Jackets have been down late to Toronto, Johnson was in the center of Columbus’ late push to tie it in the ultimate minutes. It was a robust exhibiting.

Denton Mateychuk, LHD, Columbus: On a Columbus staff with a number of intriguing prospects, Mateychuk was probably the most constantly noticeable gamers on the ice because of his skating and smarts. He did not gentle up the field rating — he had only one help on the weekend — however he was a managed exit machine and seemed poised beneath stress, making a number of good, easy performs.

Christian Kyrou, RHD, Dallas: Like Mateychuk, Kyrou impressed together with his mind and mobility. He scored a pair of targets for the Stars, however extra spectacular was how impactful he was as an undersized 19-year-old defenseman at an occasion with loads of gamers in their early to mid twenties. He constantly confirmed his smarts and poise, escaping stress when wanted and serving to to create offense for the Stars.

Zachary Bolduc, C/LW, St. Louis: It wasn’t an important exhibiting by the Blues as a complete, as St. Louis misplaced two completely different video games by a rating of 7-1. But after I did not discover him a lot in the staff’s first recreation, Bolduc stood out to me in the ultimate two contests, creating probabilities and changing them. I’m unsure if it was a coincidence, however these latter two video games got here with Bolduc on the wing after he had performed middle in the opener. He completed the weekend with two targets and two assists in three video games, and I additionally favored seeing some physicality from him. It’s additionally value noting that his linemate, 2022 sixth-round decide Landon Sim, completed among the many event scoring leaders with 5 factors (three targets and two assists) in three video games. Beyond the targets, I primarily seen Sim for his aggressive stage, however it was a productive exhibiting for such a younger late-round decide.

Sebastian Cossa, G, Detroit: Detroit evenly cut up time amongst three goalies on the occasion, so Cossa performed in half of two video games, however he was dominant. He stopped 33 of the 34 pictures he noticed, together with some robust ones with the pads. He’s massive, athletic and seemed in management via the weekend. He was the clear-cut high goaltender on the event. It’ll be actually fascinating to see the place Detroit opts to play him this season, a choice that appears like it is going to stretch into primary camp and the preseason.

(Photo of Juraj Slafkovsky: David Kirouac / Icon Sportswire through Getty Images)

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