I went to the first day of the Blues' development camp today. This is the second year of this event, where fans can watch some of the Blues' top prospects practice under the wings of some of the Blues' coaches and personnel. After watching the first day of practice, here are some of the things that stood out:
- Defenseman Jonas Junland definitely stood out from the rest of the pack. His skating seems to be above average. He also has some very good hands. He looked really good in a 3-on-3 scrimmage they did. I would expect if the Blues get the injury bug, Junland would be one of the first guys looked at to get the call-up.
- Second round pick (#33) Philip McRae looked impressive. He has good speed, and a nice release on his shots.
- Forward David Perron struggled in the first day. He got burned a lot on defensive drills. The Blues seem to be working him hard on his defensive skills this year. Also, when he would mess up in drills, he would get really upset at himself...he'd slam his stick on the ice or make motions that you could tell he was ticked off. He seems to me as if he's trying to push himself hard this season.
- Forward Lars Eller looked huge on the ice! Last year he wasn't able to participate in camp because he was rehabbing a wrist injury. This was the first time I have seen him play in person. He could stand to add some muscle. Other than that, he played really physical, more so than the other fprwards out there today.
- Forward TJ Oshie definitely looks NHL ready. He was probably the most ahead of everyone in terms of talent level. He led off every drill in the first practice, skated hard, seemed very confident, and had good hands.
- Forward Patrik Berglund acted as if he was tenative. There were some flashes of him being known as a strong puck-handler.
- Defenseman Ian Cole looked really good. He was really fluid in his skating, and had some nice outlet passes. He has some smooth side-to-side movement as well.
I'll update you all with the Day 2 highlights after I get back from practice tomorrow.