It's day two in Traverse City. That means we've seen Red Wings picks from the past few seasons on the ice together for two days. So what have we learned so far?
1) Little Bertuzzi is a pain to play against: just ask Nick Jenson who got into a scrap with the second round pick during day one. Bertuzzi got the best of him and now Jenson is nursing a shoulder tweak and missed day two. Not great news. But, this is a high energy camp with a lot of guys trying to make an impression.
2) It's nice to see Darren Helm back on skates: The guy spent the better part of a season and a half nursing various injuries to his back and forearm. Before the back injury this guy was one of the fastest skaters in the league. Let's hope he can return to form in time for opening night.
3) Jake Paterson looks good, really good: The Saginaw Spirit netminder and former third round pick of the Wings is standing out as the top keeper in Traverse City. His reflexes look good and he tracks the puck extremely well. It's no surprise that he basically carried a terrible Spirit team into the playoffs on his superb netminding alone. He certainly makes me feel better about our goaltending depth.
4) I can't wait to see more of Andreas Athanasiou: The guy looks great and we could be talking a lot about him sooner rather than later. He looked a lot more comfortable out there than Martin Frk and Anthony Mantha. To be honest I expected more out of those two.
What about the Invitees?
Babcock and Co invited a few guys to participate in the camp in hopes of finding a few gems to store in Grand Rapids and other leagues for depth purposes. A few names jump out of the lineup.
For one there's Mike Babcock Jr. who likely won't crack any roster, but is definitely getting the experience of a lifetime.
The other goaltender named Jake Patterson was also present. Patterson II split time in London for the Knights and is a super athletic goaltender. He's a long way away from regular time with Grand Rapids (I mean he'd need to earn a contract first) But I'm happy to see another London alumni in a Red Wings jersey (even if it's only for a few days)
And then there's Ildar Telykov. Holy smokes this guy is big. 6'9 216lbs sans skates. Seriously. He makes the guys around his look like midgets. And for all that size his skating isn't bad. He's got a smooth stride and a killer of a slapshot. I wouldn't be surprised if the Wings gave him a good hard look. I mean it's hard to miss him out there.
Tomorrow is the scrimmage. It'll be great to see these guys in game action!