Today's sessions at camp were split up by position, with the forwards going first under the direction of WBS Penguins head coach John Hynes followed by the defensemen led by WBS assistant coach Alain Nasreddine. The goaltenders took part in both sessions, and were the first on the ice getting work in with goaltending coaches Mike Bales and Mike Buckley.
The forwards started out with a passing and puck control drill, which saw guys cycling the puck in the offensive zone with no net or goaltender in 4-on-2 and 5-on-3 fashion, with the defending forwards mostly plugging up the middle and forcing the play around the perimeter.
Kasperi Kapanen and Tom Kuhnhackl stood out in the drill. Both showed good vision and awareness on the ice while sending crisp passes to guys all over the offensive zone.
The second drill saw goalies at each end of the ice facing shots after the forwards deked through a neutral zone filled with mini nets and other obstacles. A lot of guys were getting caught up in the neutral zone, but Jean-Sebastien Dea had some pretty nifty dangles and picked corners on the goaltenders.
After that the group was split into two and they alternated taking turns shooting and working pucks out of the corners, taking some hits from the assistant coaches - probably assistant coach Rick Tocchet's favorite drill.
It was also a good drill for Adam Payerl, who's size and physicality in the dirty areas of the ice suited him well in the drill. What was most impressive were his first shots coming into the offensive zone.
Forwards finished with a 4-on-2 drill in the offensive zone, split in half with two goalies in nets.
The defensemen came out second under the direction of Nasreddine and they focused mainly on skating and puck control in the first part of practice.
Brian Dumoulin stood out not only because he's one of the bigger defenseman at camp, but because of how he seemed to effortlessly move around. He's a good, fluid skater for a guy his size. Scott Harrington also looked good out there which should come as no surprise as both of these guys are more polished than the younger prospects at camp.
The defenseman also worked extensively on playing the puck behind the net and breaking out of the defensive zone with quick, short passes. This drill separated the men from the boys so to speak as the more experienced guys had better first touches and crisper passes out of the zone.
The second session ended with the blue liners taking shots from the point. One guy who stood out in that segment was Nick D'Agostino, who has a great shot. D'Agostino didn't shoot the puck often last season in his rookie year, but with more confidence and adapting to the pro game he should be shooting more regularly this season.
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