Posted by: Feldman
High school hockey teams are almost done with their summer practice allowances. They have a mandatory week off this week because of the holiday (Independence Day, not Canada Day, though hockey players should celebrate that, too, right?), then they'll be allowed to practice next week. That's it for coaches working with players until practice starts in November.
I went out to one of each of the Rochester teams' practices this past week, talked a bit with the coaches, and will have an update on each team. I'll try to get those started tonight and have one a day for the next four days.
A common theme among the four Rochester teams -- Century, JM, Lourdes, and Mayo -- is the need to replace veteran d-men. While each team has some quality d-men returning, they're all looking for some depth and guys who'll need to log significant ice time. But ... we'll get around to those conversations over the next few days.
One thing I can tell you, is that none of the Rochester teams has signed Zach Parise or Ryan Suter, though Suter would certainly provide another ice time-eating blue-liner for any of them. :)
Now, since the headline of this post says "Slightam off to development camp" I suppose we should get to that. Lourdes sophomore-to-be defenseman Griff Slightam is in Rochester, N.Y., where he'll participate with approximately 100 of the top 16-year-olds from around the country in the 2012 USA Hockey Select 16 Development Camp. The camp begins Saturday and runs through July 13.
The campers will divided into 10 teams for a series of games, practices, individual drills and dryland training. The rosters have not been posted yet for the camp teams, but here's a link that you can keep checking for them.
Slightam will not only receive top-notch coaching, but he'll likely be performing in front of pro and college scouts. Talking to him last week, he's excited to go test himself against the best in the country.
Rochester has sent a number of players to the USA Hockey national development camps over the past decade. Former Mayo standout and current MSU, Mankato forward Charlie Thauwald went in 2007, while former Century defenseman Conor Faupel and current Shattuck St. Mary's forward Tyler Vesel have also participated in the development camps in recent years.
Here's what Slightam had to say last week as he prepared to leave for New York:
* What do you expect the camp to be like? "I don't know what to expect, to be honest. I'm hoping to go play at the highest level I can and get recognized. I just want to go play my game and show what I can do."
* Any idea what the competition will be like? "I'm just looking forward to seeing how I compare against the best in the nation."
* Have you been working out or going to any other camps this summer? "I've been working a lot, skating a lot with Todd Lampman, working on a lot of technique, just trying to get better in every aspect. It's really specific training. He's picky -- like 'you should just be putting your toe down here instead of your whole blade' -- but it really helps. I've skated with him for a long time (in summers)."
* What have your summer camp practices been like with the Lourdes team? "We're getting ice time and bringing out intensity and setting the tone right away in the summer. We're good friends, but we're pushing each other as hard as we can."
* You'll be just a sophomore, but will be a third-year varsity player. Do you like the idea of being looked at as a team leader? "I kind of feel like I should do my best to be a leader and looked at in that way. I'm comfortable with it and looking forward to it. We have high expectations. We'll be much more experienced and everybody will be more comfortable."