Day two of on-ice activity was turned up a notch at Broncos training camp today. The players from the 50 man list were split into three teams for some 4-on-4 fun. They guys were told to take it serious but keep it relaxed.
Here's some of the highlights,- this is just my opinion and will probably be vastly different than what "scouts row"saw, or for that matter Dean Chynoweth.
- Dale Wiese at times took over the 4-on-4 session. Rightfully so, he's a four year guy playing amongst fellow teammates and rookies. He scored a handful of goals and is impressing so far. He's bigger and playing with confidence.
- Brady Leavold impressed me in the 1st session. He's always had nice hands and they were on display on a couple of rushes up the ice. Listen for some Leavold clips on the radio tomorrow morning.
- 17 year-old goaltender Ian Curtis is looking good. He's reminding me of when I first saw him at 15 and said "wow". He's a big, mobile goaltender with great lateral movement. You will not beat him low when he stretches out post to post with his pads. He was impressive today. He made some outstanding saves. He wants to be here this year. He would love the opportunity to back-up Yonkman this season. Time will tell.
- A pair of rookie d-men have impressed me throughout. 17 year-old Joel Rogers is a smooth-skating positionally sound player who has even some of the veterans talking. Could he be a player to watch in the coming days? Bank on it. The other rookie d-man who is tearing it up is Scott Macauley. The 17 year-old Manitoban is an offensively gifted rear-guard. He's a player. As in Rogers' case, a few of the veterans are taking notice of Macauley. Size is lacking though. It could be a factor if the Broncos are looking to make him their 7th d-man.
- This may be the most mobile blueline the Broncos have had in years. The back-end can all wheel and carry the puck led by Doyle, Postma, Wilson, and McAvoy. That group complimented with the more defensively sound likes of Larochelle, Claffey and Molle.
- It got a little heated in the 2nd session when Kyle Bortis finished a check on Matt Tassone. Tassone felt the hit was late and away from the play and had some choice words for Bortis when he got to his feet.... Zack Smith cruised in for a little chat with Tassone. It was the most intense part of the day. I expect things to be turned up in that regard in the coming days. If not, Dean will be weighing in you can bet.
- Speaking of Tassone, he's looking good after missing most of last year's 2nd half with a knee injury. He's skating well and looks hungry for a good season.
- 16 year-old Cody Eakin is getting rave reviews from scouts and teammates. Some of the veteran defenseman admit he's a tough guy to contain. They say his first two strides are as quick as any.
- Did you know? The Broncos have six former 1st round bantam picks at camp. 2007 1st rounder F Christian Magnus, 2006 1st rounder F Cody Eakin, 2005 1st rounder F Geordie Wudrick, 2004 1st rounder D Paul Postma and Everett's 1st round pick D Eric Doyle, 2003 first rounder F Kyle Bortis.
As for Wednesday, the players gather for off-ice workouts in the morning. There is some open ice in the afternoon. About 30 free agents show up tomorrow for registration and a Main Camp opening meeting has also been scheduled for all 80 skaters.
Let the games begin!
Regan Bartel is reporting that 1st round bantam pick (2nd overall) Luke Moffatt will not be attending Kelowna Rockets training camp. Moffat, a native of Phoenix, Arizona will play midget hockey in Detroit this season. It's not to say he won't be a Rocket in the future but for now he's a no show. Moffatt is good friends with Broncos Arizona product G Eric Ferber. Ferber is in camp and looking excellent.