It was a busy weekend for several current and former Saint John Sea Dogs at National Hockey League Rookie Camps. Here is a recap of this past weekend’s events.
The former Saint John Sea Dogs sniper helped the Ottawa Senators come back from a 3-1 third period deficit on Sunday in London, Ontario to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks rookies 7-3.
Hoffman recorded a goal and an assist en route to being named the clubs first star.
The Senators lost their first game against the Pittsburgh Penguins rookies 5-3 on Saturday afternoon.
“Had a solid assist and looked good with (Bobby) Butler,” writes the Senators blog Silver Seven about Hoffman. “If both of them are sent to (AHL Binghamton), they'd make a good two-thirds of a scoring line.”
Hoffman’s junior eligibility ended last year.
Never thought we'd use this sound feature again, but here is a sound-bite if the 2010 QMJHL MVP speaking to the media about his first star performance.
Simon Despres played well in Saturday’s tournament opener against Ottawa.
“To me, this is just invaluable to have a guy like Simon Despres, who for my money has been the most impressive Penguin today, picking up major minutes trying to hold onto a lead,” notes NHL.com writer Jason Seidling. “Instances like this are only going to help enhance his development and get him on the fast track to Pittsburgh.”
Despres seemed to take a step back in the Pens’ Saturday win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“The idea that Simon Despres could work his way into the NHL lineup, at least for nine games to start the season, seems pretty ludicrous to me,” writes Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins beat reporter Jonathan Bombulie in his Citizen’s Voice blog. “He’s a big, strong kid, but he has to learn how to play the pro game. It looks to me like Brian Strait and Robert Bortuzzo are way, way ahead of him at this point. Those two make a noticeably better first pass than the other four D who played for the Penguins tonight. Despres seems to get a lot of shots blocked at the point too, which can be a killer in pro hockey. Gotta get the puck through.”
Despres was one of the final cuts at Penguins Training Camp last year. The ‘Big Horse’ probably will not be back playing with Saint John for a few more weeks.
Pittsburgh wraps up the tournament on Tuesday against the Blackhawks.
In the photo, Despres is inserting a new video for the prospects to watch on their bus drive from Pittsburgh to London.
ALEX GRANT, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
If you haven’t heard, Grant received whiplash and a broken wrist in the Penguins’ rookie game on Saturday against Ottawa.
Nothing new to report on the former Sea Dogs captain. He will be revaluated when the team returns to Pittsburgh later this week.
NICK PETERSEN, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Former Saint John Sea Dog Nick Petersen has not been too active on the score sheet so far at the NHL Mini-Rookie Tournament in London so far.
“Petersen looked weak too,” added Eric P. of the Wilkes-Blog. “(Petersen and Casey Pierro-Zabotel) should probably carpool (to ECHL Wheeling) with their current salary.”
Here are highlights from yesterday’s Penguins rookie game:
Rookie camp for the NHL’s Regular Season Champions kicked off Sunday with Sea Dogs forward Stanislav Galiev playing at a different position then he did last season.
“It looks as though 2010 third round draft pick and usual right wing Stanislav Galiev, who still has a year of junior eligibility left (Ed. Note: Ignore that part), will get time at center during his time at camp while 2008 first rounder Anton Gustafsson will be on the left wing,” noted Washington Post Capitals reporter Katie Carrera.
"(Gustaffson) had requested to try wing and we wanted to try Galiev at center so it made for an easy switch," Caps Head Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Gus had come up to me in the summer camp and asked if he could try wing. So I said sure."
Galiev was also in rough shape following some on-ice drills.
“New draft pick Stanislav Galiev was totally gassed after Coach's (Boudreau) famous wind sprints at the end of practice,” writes Jill Sorenson of Comcast Sportsnet. He was sitting on the ice, leaning up against the boards just trying to catch his breath. He looks so young, and was visibly excited to be out there today. He had a perma-smile on his face as I interviewed him.”
Station Nation and the Capitals blog Japers’ Rink have a bit of a partnership going this season with regards to prospect coverage. Be sure to check it out all during Capitals rookie and training camp.
STEPHEN MacAULAY, ST. LOUIS BLUES
Not a whole lot of news coming out St. Louis Blue Rookie Camp. The team is playing in the annual Traverse City Tournament along with Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, and New York Rangers.
As far as we can tell, MacAulay has played in both games for the Blues but has not recorded a point.
Here are some highlights from the Blues-Stars game on Saturday:
CHRIS DIDOMENICO, CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Former Sea Dogs star Chris DiDomenico finds himself playing as a Chicago Blackhawk after an off-season deal traded him away from the Toronto Maple Leafs. ‘Dido’ will look to play in his first full season of hockey since 2008-09 when he severely broke parts of his leg.
A gold medalist with Team Canada at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships, DiDomenico picked up an assist against his former team on Saturday in London, Ontario.
“Now that part one of his rehab is complete, DiDomenico has the difficult task of adjusting to the pro game,” notes HockeysFuture.com. “The physical rigors could be difficult given his smaller size at 5'11 165 pounds, but his excellent understanding of the game and two-way reliability make him an intriguing forward to watch in Rockford next season.”
MIKE THOMAS, EDMONTON OILERS
Sea Dogs captain Mike Thomas has taken his skills to the City of Champions this week as a free agent invite to Edmonton Oilers rookie camp.
Thomas skated on a line with Drew Czerwonka and Kristians Pelss on Saturday practice at Prospera Place, home of the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets.
Thomas did not play in the Oilers tournament opener against the Vancouver Canucks rookies.
STEVEN ANTHONY, VANCOUVER CANUCKS
The biggest news from Steven Anthony out of Vancouver Canucks camp is that he is once again blogging his adventures. He also blogged during the Canucks summer camp.
Anthony didn’t play in Vancouver’s first game at the Young Stars Tournament but is in the lineup this evening against the San Jose Sharks.
“I don’t know many guys on San Jose so it’s like playing a whole new team,” writes Anthony in his second blog entry.
We couldn’t agree more with his first post, Wall Street 2 is going to be an awesome movie.
(Ed. Note: Our thanks to Canucks follower Cody S. for the tip once again)
YANN SAUVE, VANCOUVER CANUCKS
Like Grant, if you haven’t heard about Yann Sauve’s injury, then get with the times with old man!
Sauve was hit by a car last week in downtown Vancouver, reportedly suffering a concussion as well as cuts and bruises. His return date is unknown.
MARCO COUSINEAU, ANAHEIM DUCKS
Marco Cousineau is also playing at the Young Stars Tournament in B.C. He has not seen any game action so far.
Ducks Main camp opens up on September 18.
Photo Credits: London Free Press, Pittsburgh Penguins PR, Chris Gordon – Caps Snaps