This will be the last blog post before I begin writing my camp wrap-up for Hockey's Future. I have a ton of information to put in it, so it will take several days to write. Don't look for it until at least Tuesday.
Today was more work with skating and skills coach Kenny McCudden. I'll stop putting "Wolves" with his name because he said today that he's going to be doing more work with the big club. This didn't surprise me at all, and in fact in my opinion it's overdue. Players have mentioned to me for years how much help Kenny has been for their game, the latest being Boris Valabik (see article). Kenny's been a key cog in the organization for a long time even though he wasn't officially a part of it. I wrote an article about his influence last year. The other important thing about him is how positive he is. He's the most energetic 47-year-old you'll ever see.
During the Calder Cup Finals, John Anderson asked Kenny if he could have 35-40% of his time if he became the coach of the Thrashers. Kenny does a lot of skating instruction with kids in addition to his work with the Wolves, so this will be a substantial shift for him. He'll probably be in Atlanta every few weeks for maybe three days at a time he said. He has had a big impact on players who are still developing, but there's always something a veteran can improve as well. Brad Larsen has already expressed desire to work with him in the fall. I would bet that given the proximity of the Gladiators, Kenny will also work with prospects assigned there.
Here's Kenny and Myles Stoesz. They're laughing as the entire field of white shooters fail on their shootout attempts. Stoeszer was the only one who made it, so he won the contest. I told Kenny he should give him a t-shirt as a prize because Stoeszer was lacking in that department.
Rylan Kaip. He is terrific in 1-on-1 drills. Very strong and he almost always gets a shot off. The drill favors the defensemen, so it's really impressive. Enlund was also good at 1-on-1's, in a more crafty way.
When UND got their playoff mustaches, I joked that Kaip looked 35. Well, talking to him he could pass for it too. He has the no-nonsense aura of a grizzled vet, kind of reminded me of Brad Larsen (two Larsen references in one day, odd) or like a Cam Brown. His strength is that "old man strength" guys sometimes talk about. I've said it before, but Kaip is one of the few players who will probably be a better pro than he was a college player.
Bogosian. Notice how everything is blurry except his eye -- a visual depiction of his high concentration. I like this picture.
For the Swedish contingent: Nicklas Lasu.
For the Gladiators contingent: Scott Marchesi. He looked like he was dying the first day, but was OK after that.
For the Alaska contingent: Wylie Rogers.
The best invitees this year were probably Scott Bartlett out of Middlebury (NESCAC) -- I don't even know what that is, it's so obscure -- and Vic Saponari from BU.