Here is an overdue blog on the Sens development camp. My apologies for getting this up a week later than originally thought.
Below is an honest evaluation of the many players at the development camp.
Robin Lehner – He was by far and away the best player on the ice. I was so impressed by this kid. He has all the tools to make an impact as an NHL player. Standing at 6'3″ and weighing 220lbs, I personally feel he might be the steal of the 2009 Entry Draft for 2nd round drafted players. Watch for this kid to have a great year in the OHL with Soo Greyhounds.
Jared Cowen – We were told he didn't play due to his recovering knee injury. Doubtful to be ready for the start of training camp too. He skated on a separate pad. One thing that was noticeable was that he was quite muscular, well put together, something that the Sens last two first round picks lack in O'Brien and Karlsson.
Jim O'Brien – I was quite disappointed with his play after such a strong development camp last year in which he drove the net and showed some great hands. This year he did nothing special and is quite possibly the skiniest 200 pounder I have ever seen. He needs to bulk up a bit. I recall having him on our buzzcast 2 years ago after he was drafted. At that time I thought he really needed to work on his speaking. Well sad to report, he still is quite possibly the worst speaker of any NHL kid I have ever interviewed. Lacks confidence in a big way. A year in Bingo will do him good.
Peter Regin – Lets not forget he was drafted back in 2004 and his maturity level showed at this camp. He was incredible showing his composure in key situations like one on one battles where he used his legs to tie up players well in battling for loose pucks. His pro instinct is a plus for his game and has great balance, he truly was an offensive force out there. He was paired with Cody Bass and I can see both of them pushing for a fulltime spot on the main roster. His time here last year definitely helped his development.
Erik Karlsson – He needs alot of work. I don't understand how so many people in the organization are pushing for him to be a 5th or 6th on the Sens roster. His frame won't stand up to an 82 game schedule, he is so tiny! You can tell he has the intelligence of a future NHLer on the blueline with some of his on-ice vision, he did mess up quite a few cross ice passes but he had the confidence to try a few different things. He stood up a guy once at the blueline but that was it on the physical side. Numerous times he allowed guys to go clear around him(ala Wade Redden) and once it led to a goal. I personally feel he is at least a year away.
Patrick Weircioch – Solid player and has a ton of upside! At 6'4″, 185lbs, management is trying to get him to put on some weight. If he achieves this, he could be one heck of a player with some added muscle.
Zach Smith – I truly believe the reason he was not called back up after his one taste of the NHL last year is because he just might be a bit of prima donna. No joke! Too many times he tried the classic Spezza pass, drop passes to nobody, toe drag stuff for no reason. I wasn't impressed at all. Nobody talked to him all day, on or off the ice, which tells me something about his attitude. Too many times he would butt in line during practice while no other player did so. Lets see if he checks his ego at the door when training camp starts.
Shawn Weller – I really think this kid is close to make the big club. He reminds me alot of Kris Draper. Another one of the Sens 2004 draft picks and quite mature. He really stood out in both ends of the ice and played extremely well. Definitely someone to watch at the main camp.
Cody Bass – I thought he would stand out more considering his experience. He was very solid and had a good camp but he is going to have to elevate his game to earn a spot on the Sens roster. Bass is well put together, like a house!
Louie Caporusso – He will start the year in Bingo but has a bright future. Did alot of great things on the ice and possesses some solid skill along with some grit. I am keen to see what he does this coming season.
Michael Sdao – Could be a gem in the late rounds from the 2009 draft. Extremely physical and went out of his way on numerous occasions to lay guys out. You have to like that.
Andre Petersson – Mid round pick from the 2008 draft and management spoke very high of him. He was one of the better players on the ice, a little small but makes up for it with his play.
Jakob Silfverberg – Very nice player and very good offensively. 2009 2nd round pick showed me alot but was one of the youngest kids out there at 18. He is nowhere ready for the NHL and will be back in Sweden for this coming season. Ton of potential!
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About the Author
Written by Kevin Lee
Kevin has had an extensive career as a sports writer and radio show host for almost 10 years. Kevin has covered the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA College Football and Basketball. From covering the BCS Championship Game to the Final Four and the Stanley Cup Finals, he has done it all. He has been featured on numerous sports radio stations in Canada and the United States and often a weekly guest on numerous XM and Sirius Satellite radio shows. He has also had his work featured on FoxSports.com.