Bugg's back from his vacation, and just in time. Reviews are starting to filter in from team rookie camps around the league, and some names you should know have risen to the top.
Star of the Camp: Zach Bogosian, 1st round '08. Incredible strength. Had oppossing forwards sticking to the boards like fly paper. He does that in camp, and he's in the show this year.
Star of the Camp: Blake Wheeler, 1st round '04. Bs fans had to be a mite concerned, what with the huge dollars thrown at an unproven college free agent. Those worries can be put to rest. Wheeler didn't look like a prospect next to the other invites, scoring multiple times on camp goalie Manny Fernandez with both pinpoint wristers and dirty rebounds. He looks to have learned how to use his size, and his speed has improved mightily.
Star of the Camp: Nate Gerbe, 5th round '05. While he's not out of the woods yet, the diminutive forward and Dobber favorite did pro-level things against mostly junior-level talent. His shooting arsenal and speed were especially on display. He'll get to play with the big boys in camp.
Star of the Camp: Brandon Sutter, 1st round '07. Nobody worked has worked harder in Canes camp than Sutter. While his physique still has much to be desired, his overall strength has gone up and so has his maturity. Could play right now in the NHL if he wasn't 180 lbs soaking wet.
Star of the Camp: Jakub Voracek, 1st round '07. Voracek hasn't stood out in BJs camp, but that's because everyone's stopped watching him. He's a pro among boys out there, making the simple play when other prospects would be trying the fancy one. He's on the team this year.
Star of the Camp: Oscar Moeller, 2nd round '07. Moved into the advanced prospects group, where the older kids did harder drills. Impressive considering he had a poor camp last season. It's a bit too early to be optimistic, so we'll keep an eye on his progress in the main camp.
Star of the Camp: Max Pacioretty, 1st round '07. According to Habs Head Scout Trevor Timmins, the WCHA Rookie of the Year was "head and shoulders" above the camp's other participants. He scored two goals in a 3-on-3 scrimmage on Friday. Will be in the NHL in 2009-10.
Star of the Camp: Colin Wilson, 1st round '08. Being big and strong at age 19 isn't guaranteed to make you a star. But when you couple that with an intense competitive nature and wheels good enough to get you to the net, you have a player. Some observers have compared him to Scott Hartnell in his NHL readiness at the same age.
Star of the Camp: Mikkel Boedker, 1st round '08. Quotes from Coyotes management indicate they feel he's NHL-ready right now. His speed was the best in the camp, and he and Kyle Turris had incredible chemistry. An enforcer will likely be put on their wing if they both makes the Yotes.
Star of the Camp: Oskar Osala, 4th round '06. Almost in danger of not being a Caps prospect due to contract demands, the Finnish power winger has quickly rewarded the team for investing a little extra in him. A strong, powerful skater despite his size, Osala's overall skill level is almost NHL calibre. If he's not in the show this year, he will be in 09-10.
- Ramblings: Hudler Signs in Dallas, New Data with Fantasy Implications, Kuznetsov/Panarin (August 25)
- Ramblings: Goaltending Duo in Florida, Gibson's Value, Coyotes/Panthers Trade (August 26)
- Dobber's Offseason Fantasy Grades: Montreal Canadiens
- Jiri Hudler Signs with the Dallas Stars
- Frozen Pool Forensics: Expected Regressions, Part One
- Latest NHL Moves: Rangers Sign Forward Brandon Pirri
- Dobber's Offseason Fantasy Grades: Nashville Predators
- Ramblings: Brady Skjei, Plus/Minus talk and some players of interest (Aug. 27)