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Salute Your Shorts

19 July 2011

Well, I suppose I should post about this weekend.

I went to both days of the Wild prospect camp. It was fun. The end.

Kidding!!!! Except I didn’t make any specific notes. I do have some pictures I can upload later. I didn’t take them so I can’t vouch for their quality. I am sure they are poor.

Saturday we showed up just as the gates were opening and there was a ginormous line. This is in direct contrast to last year when we just walked right in. I did not get a free t-shirt but once I was in and saw Bruce’s, I was not sad. I was starving and stood in line for a hot dog until practically the puck drop.

The best improvement of this camp over last year’s was the nameplates on the back of each jersey. I really struggled last year to figure out who was who and gave up and just watched Fonz. This year everyone had a name in addition to their number and I could keep track of the players better. Justin Fontaine and incoming Bulldog Derik Johnson were on the white team and Captain Jack Connolly and Bad, Bad JT Brown were on the green team. Other college notables included former CC Tiggies Chad Rau and Kris Fredheim, DU’s Jason Zucker and David Makowski (who I continuously forget is a defenceman), Gopher turncoat Sam Lofquist, future UNO Maverick Nick Seeler, former Catacheat Kyle Medvec, recent UND grad Chay Genoway, Princeton Tiggie Mike Kramer, D-3 Superstar Kyle Thomas, and current and future Golden Domers Sean Lorenz and Mario Lucia. (See what I did there?)

Saturday I sat with Bruce Ciskie & family and we conversed. Mostly about how good Jason Zucker was. I mean, dang, please just sign and be with the Wild and not with DU. Jack and JT got some good looks at him and JT has the speed to match him, but that young man is going to be the WCHA Player of the Year. Count on it. (Barring injury.) He was also very nice. We talked about how he got a hat trick at the DECC. He said it was “lucky” or “flukey” or something, which it was, but it still scored points for Team Coug! Although I forgot to tell him that. Now Jason will be a trivia question for future Bruce Ciskie radio events: “Who was the last men’s D-1 college player to record a hat trick at the DECC?” I can win more prizes.

Jack played on a line with Mikael Granlund and Johan Larsson on Saturday. So, two top prospects for the Wild and Jack Connolly. I take that as a very good sign. Sunday he was paired with JT and Kris “Pendulum” Foucault. Jack and JT looked great together and made some quality plays. They had some great scoring chances. This should end any questions as to whether they play on the same line together next year. An emphatic Kyllä! (Finnish for yes.) Jack had a shootout goal Saturday and JT had one Sunday. We had a small chat in line on Sunday but nothing of consequence. The Aaahj said it was a much better wait than the last time we got their autographs. I thanked them once again for staying until every last fan had been through the line.

The venerable Nate Wells had this to say:

Jack Connolly: Did exactly what I expected him to do after watching Connolly play against the Gophers for years and that is to be a thorn in the opponent’s side. Alongside J.T. Brown (who also was a great grinder although didn’t really get the opportunity to show his shot besides the shootout), Connolly was the leader of the second line. Almost scoring off of a tip to open the second half, he was always in the right position creating offense and really made his mark by forechecking like a madman. After years of being a Wild fan, it was great to see some of that speed and hustle put to good use; at one point Connolly created two giveaways on one shift. A free agent (and a Minnesotan), it wouldn’t be surprising to see Chuck Fletcher give Connolly a look after the Bulldogs finish their season (especially if this person [me] has anything to do with it).

Derik Johnson looked… I don’t know. Worst analysis ever, yes. He was paired with Sam Lofquist, Gopher defector. According to the incomparable Dan Shrader:

Lofquist was EVERYWHERE on the ice. And not necessarily in a good way. He actively joined the rush, but also wandered chasing the puck carrier, which put his defensive partner, Derik Johnson, in a bad way at times.

So while that isn’t really about Derik, it does show that he was maybe not in a position to show off his best abilities. I didn’t keep any +/- stats but I think he was a minus overall.

Sunday I did not get a shirt either, which is fine, because I detest Dany Heatley. There was no line to get in though, which was good, as it was very hot and humid. Ciskie was not there so instead I enjoyed the game with one Don Lucia. Mario got a shootout goal and tDon totally didn’t even cheer. What a jerk. J/k. He was wearing shorts and a very bright blue shirt. Like Crayola bright. Sort of like this colour. On Saturday I talked to Mario and gave him a hard time because his comment that Notre Dame would “probably go to the new Super League” was somehow turned into fact. He laughed. He seemed to really be having a fun time. Probably because he was.

It sounds like things went well for Jack and JT. Fonz didn’t have the camp I think he wanted to, but he certainly didn’t look terrible. He played on a line with Charlie Coyle and Jason Zucker, two lovely young men who will probably be his teammates in Houston in a year or so.  Fonz is typical Fonz and I hope he can break out of that or he’s not going to get too far. Every game, every shift, Justin.

I’m sorry this is really disjointed but I’ve been writing it for about 7 hours, off and on. So let’s just hit publish and see what happens.

Oh, PS, congratulations to Kyle Schmidt on his recent marriage. The most well-publicized marriage in college hockey, probably ever.

PPS, hah, I totally forgot a title.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 19 July 2011 2:14 am

    Was JT running from the cops in St Paul too?


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