Monday, July 5, 2010

Check out some Future Stars at the Prospects Development Camp

With Mike Modano, Marty Turco and Jere Lethinen all leaving the team, plus the recent draft that just wrapped up at the end of June. The last few weeks have been about looking to the next generation of future Stars players as the team has taken a look at over 30 players which includes the 5 in Jack Campbell, Alex Guptill, Garrett Ross, John Klingberg and Alex Theriau who were recently drafted.

Other top prospects that could be ready to make the NHL Jump include Scott Glennie and Philip Larsen as last year's top draft pick and the top defensive prospect are looking to make the final jump to the NHL over the course of the off season.

Also joining is 4 local players in Austin Smith who unfortunately is injured right now and seeing limited action. Joining them are Armond Deswardt, Locke Jillson and CJ Ludwig. Smith was drafted in the 4th round back in 2007 while the rest of the players are undrafted players over the course of the last couple of years.

Other notables include Alex Chiasson who's at Boston College, and Jamie Benn's borther Jordie who played for the Allen Americans this past season. Also players like Thomas Frazee who just ended his junior career and are looking to make the next step, most likely to the AHL, but some think Frazee he could be a darkhorse to maybe make the NHL next season.

The Camp will officially wrap up on Wednesday Morning with a Skills Event to wrap up the camp. Tomorrow is a busy day of off the ice activities which includes a workout at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in Mckinney and some team building activities tomorrow.

From the Dallas Stars Website:

Somewhere among the 30 plus players assembled this week for the Dallas Stars 2010 Development Camp is the next generation of NHL'ers. We may not know yet which players will be the ones that rise to the top and end up filling up important roles on the Stars teams of the near future, but clearly some will.

Many of the Stars youngest prospects, including the newest draft picks selected barely a week ago at the NHL Draft, gathered on Thursday at the club's state of the art practice facility at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco for the first day of the orientation style event.

Participants in this summer camp have gone on to become important contributors for the NHL Squad each of the past three seasons, as Jamie Benn, James Neal and Matt Niskanen have emerged as pleasant surprises from its ranks in successive years. Who will be next?

The list of possibilities are impressive. The camp features the Stars last two first round draft picks, Scott Glennie (in 2009) and Jack Campbell (in 2010) as well as recent 2nd rounders Alex Chiasson (38th overall in 2009), Patrick Nemeth (41st Overall) and goaltender Tyler Beskorowany (59th overall in 2008). Also in town are highly touted prospects like defensemen Philip Larsen (a 5th Rounder in 2008) and centers Tomas Vincour (5th Rounder in 2009), among many others.

One of the primary objectives of bringing all their prospects together is to have the players get acquainted with the principles of the org. and how they do things, as well as meeting and getting to know each other. There were several events on the schedule designed for the players, whom come from various hockey backgrounds across the globe, to bond with each other.

For example, the players took in a Frisco Roughriders Game minor league baseball next door at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark Thursday Night. They also have a planned to tour the Brooks Army Hospital in San Antonio on Tuesday, as well as a visit to the Cedar Park Center, the home arena of the Texas Stars, based just outside Austin, where a good number of them will likely play next season.

"It's been really fun," said Chiasson, a 6'4" 187 pound right winger who just completed his freshman year at Boston University. "We've been practicing and we've been back to basics with coaches and learning a lot of stuff. It's been pretty fun meeting other guys and being here in Dallas for the first time. So far, it's been great."

In addition to making new friends, the players are looking absorb as much as they can, even if its from each other.

"There's definitely a lot of high end players out here that have tremendous futures in the org." said Campbell, the gold medal winning Goaltender for Team USA at the World Junior Championships last January. "And to be a part of this camp, to learn from those guys, it's great and i'm going to take it all in."

There isn't much evaluation going on, management want to keep everyone relaxed and loose. And while plenty of on ice instruction is on the agenda, a primary focus for the week is off ice conditioning, work extensively with Stars strength and conditioning coach J.J. Mcqueen. They also will have some sessions at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in Mckinney.

"They've been plenty of long days, but you have got to take everything you could get out of it, and it's been really fun," noted Glennie, a skilled forward who scored 32 goals and 89 points last year in 66 regular season games for the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL), which reached the Memorial Cup Final last year, the championship of the top level of junior hockey in North America, "They've been teaching some pretty good stuff on the ice, with all the skill moves that we need to be able to play in the NHL, and some off ice stuff with J.J. He's been really good teaching us how to train in the weight room."

"J.J. is teaching you a lot of stuff," added winger Colton Sceviour, the Stars fourth round choice (112th overall) in 2007 who collected nine goals and 31 points in 80 games during his first season as a pro for the Texas Stars (AHL) in 2009-2010. "Different things you work on, different things to help your strength and different things you wouldn't think of incorporating in your workout, whatever your program is."

Instilling that off ice work ethic is a key part of the process, as the org. emphasizes to its youngest charges that they need to est. a good physical foundation to build from.

"Guys in the NHL are in the Gym all the time, so you've got to do as much as them or more to put yourself in a good position," acknowledged Glennie, who, at 19, will likely be heading back to Brandon for one more season of junior before turning pro. "It's really good, J.J.'s been really good teaching us stuff. He's here for a reason."

Another plus for the prospects has been the presence of some Stars Veterans, including captain Brendan Morrow, top goaltender Kari Lehtonen and even Jamie Benn, whose brother Jordie, a defensemen with the Allen Americans (CHL), is also participating in the camp. Having the opportunity to interact with guys who have been there before and have already made it to where they want to get valueable experience.

"Just watching some of these guys around here that have played, like Brendan Morrow is out here skating, watching him and seeing what he's doing," said Sceviour, listing his biggest thrill from the camp's first few days. "And Jamie Benn, coming into camp last year, he maybe wasn't expected to make the team but grabbed the eye of everyone he had to grab of the make that squad - just learning from guys like that."

All in all, all assembling all of the org. newest members in one place for the week has been an ideal setting for imparting upon them what it means to be a part of the Dallas Stars family, and what management expects of them going forward, both on and off the ice.

They now will be armed with loads of information to take back with them to whatever teams they play for next season, in various leagues around the world. And if recent history tells us anything, one of them just might end up making an impression in 2010-2011 with the big club in Dallas.

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