First off, a reminder that there will be no live blog during training camp this year. However, I do plan on Tweeting live from camp the next four days, so for live updates follow me at @NickHPatterson, and if you want to join in the conversation I’ll be using the hashtag #TipsCamp.
On-ice sessions get started at 8 a.m. Thursday. The players checked in today and are undergoing physical testing. Here’s some brief observations about the veterans from check-in:
– The only returning veteran (with the exception of those who are trying out for the pros) who wasn’t present was winger Carson Samoridny. The 18-year-old was a marginal figure last season, and he no longer appears on the team roster on Everett’s website, so it appears he’s no longer in the Tips’ plans.
– Cody Fowlie is huge. The overage winger looks like he put on about 20 pounds of muscle during the offseason. Lucas Grayson is also ripped. The 18-year-old defenseman was already ripped last season, but he appears to have added some muscle, too. Both are also sporting long, flowing manes.
– Andy Desautels has slimmed down. The 18-year-old goaltending prospect looked to be in better shape than any of his previous Tips training camps. His fellow netminder, 17-year-old Austin Lotz, also looked trim. So if nothing else, Everett’s top two goaltending candidates look like they’re physically ready for the challenge.
– Two players I chatted with won’t be skating during camp because of physical ailments. Overage winger Ryan Harrison is dealing with a case of mononucleosis, while 18-year-old center Kohl Bauml is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Both are hopeful of being ready by the start of the season.
– Both of Everett’s new Euros, 18-year-old winger Stathis Soumelidis and 17-year-old defenseman Mirco Muller, are fluent in English, so there shouldn’t be any communication hurdles like there was last season with winger Vladimir Dolnik. Also, Muller is pronounced like Mueller.