April 16, 2013

67's Prospects Convene At Rookie Camp

In the midst of a rebuild, the Ottawa 67’s hosted their annual rookie camp this past weekend to showcase and get a look at the top prospects that could be donning the barberpoles for years to come.

Off-ice workouts took place at Leitrim’s Fred Barrett Arena before a pair of scrimmages on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
First overall pick and star attraction Travis Konecny showed why Ottawa used the top pick in the OHL’s Priority Draft last weekend, showing off his speed, physicality and hockey sense.
First overall pick Travis Konecny at the Ottawa 67's Prospect Camp.  Photo courtesy of Mike Carroccetto.
Unlike some top scorers that pass through the OHL, Konecny is able to create offence from defence.  He makes the smart play in his own end without the puck, and turns it into a good offencive chance the other way when he does get the puck.

Konecny has all the tools to be an elite center, boasting incredible speed, good hockey sense in his own end, a willingness to hit and play along the boards and an incredible shot.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the play of undrafted North York Rangers defenceman Max Novick.  He was able to absorb numerous hits along the boards, and had an amazing amount of patience with the puck.  His solid play on the blueline and puck-moving ability could earn him a spot on the roster come September.

Troy Henley, drafted 20th overall by the 67’s last weekend, could be called upon to fill the void left by the departure of overager Michal Cajkovsky.  Although tough to fill the shoes of the Slovak defender, Henley’s ability to play physical and keep his game simple should help him log big minutes on the blueline this upcoming season.

Drafted 200th overall in 2012 by the 67’s, Maxime St. Pierre doesn’t look or play like most 17-year olds.  Despite suffering a shoulder injury last season with the Cumberland Grads, the 205-pound right winger was hitting everything in sight, playing alongside Konecny for a good portion of the scrimmages.  He plays similar to current 67’s forward Mark Petaccio, with even more of a physical edge to his game.

Local product Ben Fanjoy was one of the more impressive forwards at rookie camp.  His scoring touch around the net got him a couple of goals, and he wasn’t afraid to play physical.  His play is similar to Ottawa Senators forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

Free agent goaltender Daniel Mannella, who spent the 2012-13 campaign alongside ex-67’s goalie Keegan Wilson with Georgetown of the OJHL, stood on his head during long stretches.  When Team Black, with the likes of Konecny, St. Pierre and Henley, were dominating physically and in Team White’s end, Manella was forced to make nearly 30 saves in the two periods he played on Sunday.

Daniel Potter, the highly touted goaltender playing for the Suffolk Juniors in the United States, also appeared in net for Team White, but didn’t see much action as his squad started to take over once he came in.

Kevin Groulx had a couple of call-ups last season but didn’t get very much ice time.  He made the most of all the ice time he got at rookie camp and threw his weight around as much as possible.

Undrafted Hawkesbury Hawks defenceman Mathieu Galipeau wanted to make an impact physically to garner the interest of the coaching staff.  He threw a big hit on Sunday that temporarily knocked forward Brandon Zullo out of action, before dropping the gloves with fellow undrafted invitee Jody Sullivan.

As impressive as some of these players were, rookie camp is just the first step.  The real test comes in August when these prospects come together with the rest of the team to try and find a spot in the OHL.  However, some of these young players have likely played their way into the coaching staff’s good books with their performance this weekend.

Click here to see pictures from Sunday's scrimmage.  

(Note from the photographer:  It's really hard to ensure that I get a shot of every player at camp.  I have posted pretty much every "publishable" shot from Sunday.  Sorry if I missed you, your son or your friend.  If you send me a note about what you were wearing, I might still have one that I didn't post.)

1 comment:

Ross said...

When/where are the scrimmages?