The week has been flying by as the Jets' development camp wrapped up it's fourth of five days on Thursday afternoon. The players are used to the daily routine of getting up, having breakfast and heading to the rink for practice by this point.
You can really see the development from a lot of the guys that were around last year. They look so much more relaxed, comfortable and well, just all around more mature. St. John's IceCaps head coach, Keith McCambridge is one of the main coaches on the ice for all of the sessions during the camp. He knows a lot of these players from last season and is keeping his eyes on a few that he might see a lot more of in the future.
"I had a chance to coach a lot of these guys at prospect camp last year in Penticton," said McCambridge. "So for me, I'm looking at them to see has he made any advancements from last season, how is his game going? I see that in a lot of the guys, that they've made some strides and their game has gotten stronger. They have more confidence on the ice, now that they've had a year under their belt. It's that comparison,are they taking strides forward or back? Overall, I think everybody is really making some positive strides."
One guy a lot of people were interested in seeing back on the ice was Mark Schiefele. How is his game and where is he at this year compared to last year? Scheifele joined the IceCaps after the Barrie Colts were eliminated from the OHL playoffs and when the IceCaps were just getting going. He got a taste first hand of what it's like to be in the AHL and work under McCambridge.
"We wanted him to have that experience at that pro-level and see what it's like," said McCambridge. "To play in playoff hockey and see what takes place day in and day out with that intensity and we thought he made some real strong strides. When I look at him now, he looks to be a little more rejuvenated out there, so that's a positive. Overall, you look at his game and you always hear that he's got to get stronger and it looks like he's made some steps in that direction. His energy level looks to be at a better level then it was when we saw him."
Jets' GM Kevin Cheveldayoff was at the MTS IcePlex today to give us his take on how the camp has been going so far.
"It's been a really exciting week for us so far," said Cheveldayoff. "It's exciting to have the opportunity to do the camp this year, we really wish we could have done it last year because you get to know the players and teach them through the different facets of the organization both internally and externally, we hope that all those things will help create the foundation for them to continue to grow and become good professional hockey players."
Cheveldayoff mentioned recently that the organization wanted to indoctrinate these players the 'Jet way'. His idea of the Jet way?
"The Jet way is certainly something that we feel strongly about that as an organization," Chevy explained. "We feel that once you become part of our family, we're going to do everything we possibly can to help move you along to become a professional hockey player. Right from the start, the moment that their name is called on the draft floor, the next people they see are the PR people and they start talking to them about being a Winnipeg Jet."
The list continued on from there on how each player goes through the initial orientation process and learns quickly what it means to be a Jet, and what the expectations are.
"When they're here, they all come together. They get to see the city and see the passion that is here from the fans, they get to hear it in the voices of the coaches and they get to become teammates. The first time they get to put a Jets jersey on together, it's here. These are memories and building blocks for the future."
|Back to top ↑|