The Ducks are holding their Conditioning Camp next week, with practices open to the public on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, all starting at 6 p.m. at Anaheim Ice.
This is usually a good chance to see some prospects you haven't seen before, but I've actually seen most of the players on this year's roster. There are some I haven't seen live, but only a few I haven't seen at all, namely Kevin Lind, Chris Wagner, Tim Heed and Stephane Da Costa. Two things on that last name. First, he probably encompasses the ENTIRE reason I'll be attending this year's Conditioning Camp and second, he's not even a Duck. More after the jump...
Stephane Da Costa is one of two NCAA free agents attending this year's Conditioning Camp-- the other is Dartmouth's Evan Stephens --and if you've been following his college hockey career online, you're probably as excited as I am to get a look at him. The 5'11" native of Paris played in Sioux City of the USHL last year, but he found himself recruited by the Merrimack Warriors, a program that had gone down the toilet of late-- and I mean where Michelangelo keeps his nunchucks 'down the toilet' --to the tune of five last place finishes in Hockey East.
But Merrimack started making the headlines on Da Costa's back. In his second game, he became the first Warrior in history to post five goals, the first freshman Warrior to score a natural hat trick and the first to score a hat trick for the school in the last four years. He earned INCH Rookie of the Year honors, and as INCH notes of Da Costa's 16 goals and 29 assists, he had more dimes than Merrimack's leading scorer last year had points.
Da Costa has committed to returning to school next season, but I can't imagine his interest in Anaheim won't be piqued next week. He'll take the ice with three players (Nick Bonino, MacGregor Sharp, Dan Sexton) who made their NHL debut with the Ducks shortly after leaving the NCAA and can vouch for the Ducks commitment to playing college players. I hope we're on his mind all of next season.
I will probably be there Tuesday and Saturday night, so feel free to come by, say hello and talk hockey.
This year's Conditioning Camp roster:
|Bonino, Nick||C||From San Jose|
|Bordson, Rob||LW||Signed as free agent|
|Brittain, Josh||RW||2008 Entry Draft|
|Clark, Mat||D||2009 Entry Draft|
|Cousineau, Marco||G||2008 Entry Draft|
|Da Costa, Stephane||C||Free agent|
|Deschamps, Nicolas||C||2008 Entry Draft|
|Etem, Emerson||RW||2010 Entry Draft|
|Fowler, Cam||D||2010 Entry Draft|
|Gardiner, Jake||D||2008 Entry Draft|
|Heed, Tim||D||2010 Entry Draft|
|Hegarty, Ryan||D||2008 Entry Draft|
|Holland, Peter||C||2009 Entry Draft|
|Lebler, Brian||RW||Signed as free agent|
|Lind, Kevin||D||2010 Entry Draft|
|Macenauer, Maxime||C||2007 Entry Draft|
|McCue, Matt||LW||Signed as free agent|
|McMillan, Brandon||C||2008 Entry Draft|
|Mitera, Mark||D||2006 Entry Draft|
|Newton, Jake||D||Signed as free agent|
|Palmieri, Kyle||RW||2009 Entry Draft|
|Perlini, Brett||RW||2010 Entry Draft|
|Pielmeier, Timo||G||From San Jose|
|Schultz, Justin||D||2008 Entry Draft|
|Sexton, Dan||RW||Signed as free agent|
|Sharp, MacGregor||C||Signed as free agent|
|Smith-Pelly, Devante||RW||2010 Entry Draft|
|Stephens, Evan||D||Free agent|
|Vaive, Justin||LW||2007 Entry Draft|
|Valentine, Scott||D||2009 Entry Draft|
|Wagner, Chris||RW||2010 Entry Draft|