In case you missed it, the Hurricanes were nice enough to stream today's morning practice from their player development camp on their web site. This year's camp features 26 players including the majority of their draft picks of the last few years along with a handful of undrafted players. It's tough to get a grip on all of these players because this was only a two hour practice of basic drills, but I'll share a few things from this morning that stood out to me.
- 2010 3rd rounder Austin Levi has gotten a lot bigger since the last time I got to see him. He is listed at 6'4" & 210 lbs., which is a lot bigger than I remember him being and it made him a lot more noticeable compared to the other prospects. He used his big frame to his advantage well in the one-on-one drills, too. There was one drill where he was matched up with the much smaller Brock McGinn and Levi just overpowered him. His counting stats were never impressive, but Levi does bring a lot to the table and I'm interested to see what the future holds for him.
- Carolina's first rounder from this year and top prospect, Elias Lindholm looked very good in most of the drills today, his shining moment being when he beat Altshuller with a quick one-timer on a passing drill. His shot is something that scouts said he should work on, but you wouldn't know it after seeing him make that shot. Lindholm's skating also looked very good and he was the most noticeable forward at practice today.
- Speaking of McGinn, he looked really engaged in the one-on-one drills and seemed to play the body really well. He's known for being a strong kid and an aggressive player, so we got a little glimpse of his playing style during those drills.
- Both Danny Beiga and Ryan Murphy looked very impressive in the breakout drills. They skated well and moved the puck efficiently. This doesn't come as a surprise, though because that's the main reason why these two were drafted. Beiga is someone that Hurricanes fans haven't gotten to see a lot of yet, but I think he is one of the more underrated prospects in the system and will have a decent future.
- I was able to get a decent look at goaltender & 2012 sixth round pick Collin Olson during the breakaway drills and he was able to make a lot of good reaction saves. His reflexes were strong and he didn't give up too many big rebounds. One forward was able to put a slick move on him for a goal, but he was very solid outside of that. He didn't get much playing time during his freshman year at Ohio State, but that should change next season.
- Carolina's other sixth round pick from that year, Daniel Altshuller, was also very noticeable in today's practice. He's a pretty aggressive goalie and went out to play the puck quite a few times during the breakout drills. I've only been able to see highlights of him with the Oshawa Generals, but I have noticed that he likes to challenge shooters a lot and he can make some pretty acrobatic saves. Wonder how much this will change as he gets older.
- Camp invitee, Sergey Tolchinsky showed some impressive offensive skills in the breakaway and breakout drills. He handles the puck extremely well and found the back of the net a couple times when he got the chance to shoot. He is a pretty small guy and wasn't drafted, but I think some team is going to take a chance on him because he is very talented from the looks of things.
The Hurricanes will be streaming tomorrow & Friday's morning practices at 10 a.m. along with more development coverage at 5 p.m.