Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fists fly as veterans raise level of play at main camp

Rookie Jake Morrissey tending net.
  • Even a happy family has a disagreement every once in a while. Case in point, Kelowna Rockets captain Madison Bowey dropping the gloves with 20 year-old Colton Heffley on the third day of main camp. You could see this one coming a couple of shifts earlier when Bowey was agitated by Heffley after the two were fighting for the puck in the corner. For those that didn't witness it, this wasn't a wrestling match. These two teammates threw some good punches. At one point, enforcer Tyrell Goulbourne attempted to step in and he too had to avoid the punches that were flying both ways. It was the first and likely last fight at main camp, but it sent a clear message to the younger players and a few of the veterans that main camp isn't a time to be wasted away. After the tilt both Heffley and Bowey were all smiles. No harm, no foul.
  • Jackson Whistle and rookie Jake Morrissey were the tandem for Team Red in the morning scrimmage. Whistle did not allow a goal in a relief appearance of the 16 year-old netminder. Morrissey will undoubtedly see some pre-season action as he attempts to prove, despite his age, he is a worthy back up. I often wonder if a young goalie like Morrissey would be better served by having a starting roll at a lower level where he can continue to develop his game? The danger in being a back up on a good team is he could potentially regress like Josh Lepp did. I would hate to see that same mistake happen twice. I am glad I have no say on the decision being made at that position.
  • Speaking of Morrissey, if he indeed sticks with the team this season, Joe Gatenby may have a challenger for Scholastic Player of the Year. Morrissey is as good in the classroom as he is on the ice and is taking only the top classes in high school. If you are enrolled in Chemistry 12, which Morrissey indeed is, you get a high five from me.    
  • I hate mentioning a players name for a second time on this blog because often it looks like favoritism. That said, I can take a punch, so I will again state how much I like rookie d-man Lucas Johansen. Again, I have not seen every workout, but the 6th round pick doesn't panic with the puck and looks steady out there. I hope Johansen plays in the pre-season to see if I am blind or if he indeed shows strong in a 'real' game. Again, I liked Cal Foote in the Thursday sessions considering his age. I think he could play here right now.  But does he also need to be rushed? The answer is no. Justin Kirkland did not play at 16. Look what came of him! 
  • Dillon Dube is having a strong camp. The 16 year-old creates some good things in the o-zone. It was interesting watching him play with veteran Rourke Chartier.
  • Myles Bell was on the ice with the pro players following the morning session. Bell won't attend NJ Devils camp until September 13th but was wearing a 'Devils' helmet when he took to the ice this morning. "I guess this camp will decide where I am going to end up playing this year. Obviously I have expectations of myself but I am going to go there and play as well as I can and try not to worry about things that I can't control". 
  • Former Kelowna Rockets overager JT Barnett was skating with the pro's today in Kelowna.
  • Cody Sylvester, who's mother Kim works in the Rockets office, has received a tryout with the Boston Bruins AHL team in Providence.

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