Friday, August 22, 2008

Training Camp Update

After 18 holes at the Chinook I caught the last two periods of the Broncos Gray vs White scrimmage in the evening...

It was my first chance to see the new and improved Grant Toulmin who is back with the Broncos trying to earn a spot after spending last season with the Prince George Spruce Kings in the BCHL.

His skating is better and he appears quicker. He's always had a heavy shot. If he plays physical and gets a bit greasy he has a chance of sticking I'm thinking.

"Last season (in the BCHL) I was able to play in all situations and got a lot of ice-time. It's made me more comfortable, I'm more relaxed with the puck. I've tried to work on my foot speed too." - Toulmin

We will see how camp progresses for the former 2nd round bantam pick.

- Bronco veterans took turns dominating the scrimmage session last night. Levi Nelson was going half-speed yet was still all over the ice. Nelson has nothing to prove at this camp, the signed 20 year-old will not be back this season. He combined with 17 year-old Jordan Peddle for the nicest goal of the night on pretty passing place which Peddle finished off. Jordan Peddle is one of the 17 year-olds getting a long look at this year's camp.

- Zack Smith and Cody Eakin took over a couple shifts too for Team Gray. Eric Doyle scored a nice goal off the rush firing the puck post and in from the bottom of the left circle. Doyle and Jesse Dudas would be a pretty good pairing on the Broncos first PP unit this season.

- Nice gesture by the scouts as they used exclusively 15 year-olds in the shootout to break a 3-3 tie in the end.

- Cody Eakin is still smiling after a gold medal at the U-18's at Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Cody is going to a be a good one for the Broncos this year and year's to come. Playing on a line last season with Justin Dowling and Geordie Wudrick, Eakin is hoping the three will be re-united to start the season.

"I hope so... that's what we left hoping. You never know but, we had a pretty successful end to the season playing together and if we're together that will be awesome but if not that's how she goes... we will deal with it."

I don't have much of a report on some of the younger players, although I was impressed with 15 year-old 7th round bantam pick Preston Admunson. Some of the people in the rink were also noticing 17 year-old Dillon Wagner. Wagner, who spent last season in the AJHL is also expected to have a decent chance of making the team.

Personally I think the tempo and physical play needs to be turned up a notch. I didn't see much jam or enthusiasm in the evening scrimmage until the last couple minutes as the teams tried to break a 3-3 draw. Im thinking the message from the scouts and coaching staff may be just that heading into the weekend. There's a lot of spots on the line and tip-toeing around isn't going to get it done.

Here's today's schedule:

Friday August 22

7:30-8:30 Practice Team Trottier
8:30-8:45 Goaltenders Team Trottier
9:00-10:00 Practice Team Ruskowski
10:00-10:15 Goaltenders Team Ruskowski
10:30-11:30 Practice Team Tiger
11:30-11:45 Goaltenders Team Tiger
12:00-1:00 Practice Team Sakic
1:00-1:15 Goaltenders Team Sakic

4:00PM Game: 3 Team Ruskowski vs Team Trottier
7:00PM Game: 4 Team Tiger vs Team Sakic


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