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Old 09-12-2006, 04:06 PM   #5517
Jori
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Location: Denver, CO
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My final report from Avs Rookie Camp:

Day Three: The Finale

Like the past two days, the two goaltenders Mayotte and Weiman are on the ice at 9:30 AM working with the assistant coaches. A few of the Avs players watched the session before proceeding to the other rink. Granato and Budaj shared a jovial conversation. Peter exclaimed that he was ready to get back to work!

Pierre Lacroix was in attendance and looked good considering his recent health scare. Terry Frei was sitting in the stands for the second half of the session. Quenneville ran the practice this morning.

Team Gray:

Ryan Steeves
Michael Vernace
John Laliberte
Wojtek Wolski
Johnny Boychuk
Chris Stewart
Codey Burki
Chris Durand
Peter Tsimikalis
Mitch Love

Team Black:

Brad Richardson
Dan DaSilva
David Svagrovsky
Kyle Cumiskey
Richard Demen-Willaume
Cody McLeod
Paul Stastny
Brandon Roach
Ray Macias
Victor Oreskovich

30 Minute Scrimmage: Gray versus Black

Black - Mayotte
Gray - Weiman

The scrimmage involved 30 second shifts of one on one and two on two drills.

One on One:

Burki versus Richardson
Wolski versus DaSilva
Steeves versus Cumiskey
Demen-Willaume versus Boychuk
Stewart versus Svagrovsky
Tsimikalis versus Stastny
Laliberte versus Oreskovich
Macias versus Durand: Macias scores twice
Vernace versus Roach
McLeod versus Love
Richardson versus Burki: Burki scores once
Wolski versus DaSilva
Cumiskey versus Steeves: Cumiskey scores once
Demen-Willaume versus Boychuk
Svagrovsky versus Stewart: Svagrovsky scores once
Tsimikalis versus Stastny
Laliberte versus Oreskovich
Macias versus Durand
Vernace versus Roach
Love versus McLeod

Two on Two:

Burki/Wolski versus DaSilva/Richardson: Richardson scores once
Cumiskey/Demen-Willaume versus Steeves/Boychuk
Stewart/Tsimikalis versus Stastny/Svagrovsky
Oreskovich/Macias versus Durand/Laliberte: Durand scores once
McLeod/Roach versus Vernace/Love
Wolski/Burki versus Richardson/DaSilva
Steeves/Boychuk versus Cumiskey/Demen-Willaume
Stastny/Svagrovsky versus Stewart/Tsimikalis
Cumiskey/Macias versus Laliberte/Durand
McLeod/Roach versus Vernace/Love
Wolski/Burki versus Richardson/DaSilva
Cumiskey/Demen-Willaume versus Boychuk/Steeves
Tsimikalis/Stewart versus Svagrovsky/Stastny
Laliberte/Durand versus Macias/Oreskovich
Vernace/Love versus McLeod/Roach: McLeod scores once
Wolski/Burki versus Richardson/DaSilva
Steeves/Boychuk versus Cumiskey/Demen-Willaume: Steeves scores once

One on One:

Wolski/Richardson
DaSilva/Burki: Burki scores once
Boychuk/Cumiskey
Stastny/Steeves
Tsimikalis/Svagrovsky
Stewart/Oreskovich
Laliberte/Macias
Durand/McLeod: Durand scores once
Vernace/Roach
Richardson/DaSilva

Two on Two:

Burki/Wolski versus DaSilva/Cumiskey
Stastny/Svagrovsky versus Boychuk/Steeves
Tsimikalis/Stewart versus Macias/Oreskovich
Roach/McLeod versus Burki/Laliberte
Richardson/DaSilva versus Vernace/Love
Wolski/Burki versus Stastny/Cumiskey
Steeves/Boychuk versus Oreskovich/Svagrovsky
Stewart/Tsimikalis versus Macias/Roach: Roach scores once
Laliberte/Durand versus McLeod/Richardson
Love/Vernace versus Stastny/Tsimikalis

Team Black wins 7-5

Best of Camp

Forward

Wojtek Wolski
Brad Richardson
Paul Stastny

Defense

Johnny Boychuk
Kyle Cumiskey

Goaltending

Tyler Weiman

Final Observations

#7 Johnny Boychuk, D. Johnny was the best defenseman in the camp and thatís a big relief. He was a player I was fairly high on when originally drafted, but my confidence slowly waned. I was impressed with his big booming shot and while his positioning isnít fantastic, itís improved. A spot on the Avs roster is slim for 06-07 (barring trades and/or injuries), but 07-08 looks to be a good bet.

#8 Wojtek Wolski, LW. Wolski was not only the best forward, but the best player in camp. He dominated defenders in one on one drills. His speed and quickness often fooled opponents in the camp. It would be a surprise if he didnít dominate this camp. No doubt heís ready for bigger and better things.

#12 Brad Richardson, C. Like Wolski, Richardson had a very strong camp. Defensive instincts are sharp and some of the offense he showed in the CHL was very visible. Considering the centers in front of him, it may be more difficult for his offensive game to blossom at the NHL level. Yet, the potential of being a solid #2 center is definitely present.

#30 Kris Mayotte, G. Mayotteís play improved during the camp, but he is susceptible to high shots. With the Avs sharing an AHL affiliate and with Weiman ahead of him on the depth chart, look for Mayotte to spend some time with the Arizona Sundogs (CHL).

#32 Richard Demen-Willaume. Demen-Willaume participated in the practice this morning. He's a big kid, but a bit lanky. He's a good skater, but I'm not seeing much offensive skill. During the drills he had some problems with receiving and passing the puck (nerves perhaps).

#35 Tyler Weiman, G. This was a difficult camp for the goaltenders, but Tyler performed very well. He has a nice quick glove hand, but was clearly upset when giving up goals down low (especially through the five hole). Weiman is feisty and competitive. Look for him to start the season in Albany.

#36 Dan DaSilva, D. Dan is a solid, but unspectacular defensemen. His offensive skills will not wow you, but he is fairly good in his own end. Still, his ceiling appears to be the AHL.

#37 Chris Durand, C. Durandís recent season in the WHL made you question his offensive potential, but his offensive instincts surprised me and matched his strong defense during the camp. While he wonít be an offensive dynamo at the pro level, he could develop into a good #3 center. Another year in the WHL is whatís best and the Avalanche hope his offensive numbers will rebound.

#38 Codey Burki, C. Burki entered camp with questions about his work ethic. Burki did nothing but work his butt off. He was one of the better skaters in the camp. He showed enough potential to tantalize fans, but clearly will benefit by returning to the WHL for the upcoming season.

#41 Michael Vernace, D. Vernace had question marks about his defense and positioning. Against his peers, his positioning was very strong and he had a knack of making smart plays with his stick. His offense on the other hand was a bit disappointing. Yet it seemed as if his focus was to show the coaches that offense wasnít the only part of his game. Heíll get a nice test against the veterans in training camp and in the AHL next season.

#42 Chris Stewart, RW. The recent number one pick for the Avs oozes with potential, but he is also an unfinished product. Heís big and strong, but had difficulty matching up in one on one situations during the camp. Going up against David Svagrovsky in one on one drills today, Stewart was soundly dominated. Beating defenders from the outside isnít a problem, nor are his hands. Skating is one of his bigger issues; one that can be improved with time. Any notions of Stewart playing in the NHL this season need to be put in a drawer and closed. Fans will need to be patient with this kid.

#43 Ryan Steeves, C/LW. Steeves had a solid, but unspectacular camp. He has nice hands and is good defensively. Heíll most likely be an injury call up this year. He could potentially be a solid fourth liner in the NHL.

#45 David Svagrovsky, RW. David was easily the most physical player in the camp. Svagrovsky has been between the CHL, ECHL and AHL the past two seasons. His offensive game isnít very good. Iíd look for him to be in Arizona next year.

#46 Mitch Love, D. His most exciting moment was his fight with Cody McLeod. Love lacks consistency on both ends and looks to be AHL/CHL bound.

#47 Raymond Macias, D. Macias broke out offensively on the third day of camp. He was relatively quiet the first two days. Defense is definitely a weakness as he struggled in one on one drills. His offense is definitely tempting, but another year with Kamloops (WHL) is for the best.

#48 Kyle Cumiskey, D. Cumiskey was one of my two surprises of the camp. His diminutive stature will remind you of John-Michael likes and he also plays a similar game. Heís an extremely smooth and swift skater. Despite his size, his positioning was very good and he was rarely beat during the camp. A true test will be against the veterans in training camp.

#49 Victor Oreskovich, RW. Victor had a very good camp. Heís a strong skater, a banger and has nice hands. All the tools are there, whether he can put everything together remains to be seen. With limited spots available in Albany, heís probably better off playing with Kitchener (OHL) next season.

#50 Brandon Roach, D. Roach was one of three free agent invitees to the rookie camp. Unfortunately, Roach didnít stand out and itís unlikely the Avs offer him a pro contract. I overheard his father saying heíd play college hockey in Canada if he didnít make the cut and that seems to be his most likely route.

#51 John Laliberte, RW. Laliberte was my other surprise in camp and being a late addition certainly did not affect his overall performance. John displayed a nice nose for the net. Not only does he have good hands, his passing is also very crisp. He scored some beautiful goals during todayís session. A good training camp could earn him a contract. Heís not going to make the Avs roster, but he may be worth putting in the AHL to see how he performs.

#55 Cody McLeod, LW. Camp tough guy also has a nice shot and scored a few goals in the scrimmages off the rush. Heíll likely take his game to Arizona (CHL) next season.

#56 Peter Tsimikalis, C. Peter was a good assist man in the OHL and those passing skills were clearly apparent during this camp. He didnít embarrass himself defensively. Heís a player the Avs could potentially sign, but will need to step it up during training camp.

#62 Paul Stastny, C. Paulís performance started uneven but finished strong. Stastny is strong on his skates, but wouldnít be considered as a fast skater. What he makes up for a lack of speed is his skill, especially his passing ability. He sees the ice very well and can score some very eye popping goals. Stastny doesnít neglect the defensive end. Heís a good two-way player and strong on face-offs. Heís in a tier behind Richardson and Wolski, but with a glut of centers on the Avs roster, it will be tough for him to make the big club out of training camp.
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