Development Camp: Day 1

(Photo Credit: Daniel Lavender)

The Nashville Predators Development Camp festivities are off and running. Day 1 at Centennial Sportsplex is in the books and provided fans the chance to get to see some of what the prospect pool has to offer. It also saw the likes of Scott Ford and Wade Redden running practice as well as a coaching presence from Scott Nichol, Ben Vanderklok, and David Rook.

What are the immediate thoughts from Day 1? Honestly, quite blank.

I do feel that this is where we are at with the prospect pool in Nashville. It’s an interesting time where the true depth is on the NHL roster which, more or less, has been backed up by some trades that took away the prospect pool. That said, Eeli Tolvanen continues to look the part. Tyler Moy showed very well today while zipping some crazy passes in his general direction. And I also think some of the new faces due for Milwaukee look very exciting.

Mathieu Olivier looked outstanding today. I’m impressed with his skating ability and well roundedness on the puck. His shot looks really good and he has a quick first step, as well. Tanner Jeannot is another good sized forward who I think could be a physical element the likes of which the Milwaukee Admirals could always have needed when locking up with a team such as the Grand Rapids Griffins. And Filip Pyrochta also impressed me with a lot of drills I watched today – particularly working dump ins and zone exits. It sounds simple and bland but it’s an attribute you don’t appreciate how well some do until that game mode hits and defensemen can negate offensive chances single-handedly with the correct first move.

As is often the case, Year-1 talent are used as leaders at this camp and act as mentors to the many other youngsters around. This is where I found some pretty fun strides in Frédéric Allard and Joonas Lyytinen. Both were very active in communications and seemed eager to lead from the front. Lyytinen especially was talking up with the Finnish group on hand. And that must be great for someone like Niclas Westerholm to have as a resource coming into Milwaukee this season.

Lastly, Charlie Kelleher. I cannot begin to explain how many times I did a double-take thinking that I was watching Tyler Kelleher. If I had been in a coma from last Development Camp to this one I’d have just assumed it was Tyler. Same number. Same candycane stick tape job. Similar playing style and agility. Charlie still has time in college with the University of New Hampshire -where Tyler also played. I’m hopeful that in due time he might trickle into the mix.

After practice wrapped up we had the chance to speak with a good variety of those mentioned above: Nichol, Olivier, Moy, Allard, Kelleher, and Lyytinen. These were today’s interviews from the Centennial Sportsplex.

Day 2 coverage will be out much sooner tomorrow afternoon. Day 3 doesn’t feature on-ice practice so I will probably be an outright tourist in Nashville on the day. Day 4 we’ll be back in action late in the afternoon. And we should be able to give Admirals Roundtable a proper send-off come the Future Stars Game on Friday night.

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