As far as news goes, the Ducks announced the signings of two new contracts:
-- 2011 first round draft pick Rickard Rakell (RW) signed a three-year, two-way, entry-level deal. The money is $975,000 NHL and $70,000 AHL, all three years.
-- AHL tough guy Matt Smaby (D) signed a one-year, two-way, contract extension. Money comes out to $650,000 NHL and $105,000 AHL. Smaby spent most of last season on the IR with a thumb injury that required surgery or in Syracuse. He's a backup enforcer should Brad "Starburns" Staubitz go down.
On to the scrimmage! There were two halves, the first of which I was late for. I didn't get a copy of the updated roster, but one notable addition was Troy Bodie. Not sure why he was there. Maybe he'll play for Norfolk this season. Both Bob Murray and Bruce Boudreau were there. I didn't see them talk the whole time. Bruce, of course, was holding court amongst the Ducks staff and media in the roped off section. It was surprisingly full at Anaheim Ice. I even ran into our moderator, Eric. My overall consensus of this group is that they're incredibly fast. They made me excited for what's to come in the next few years.
The original Conditioning Camp Roster 2012 is missing Lasch and Bodie. Not sure who else. I have one more video on our YouTube channel that shows some of the guys in action. If you like quality video, here's the Ducks video recap of the entire game.
Below are notes on players that caught my eye.
-- Emerson Etem (RW): When I left the scrimmage, he was the player I was the most excited about. Above is video focused on one shift of Etem's. He's in jersey #65. (I apologize for the poor quality iPhone video.) Anyway, what a difference a year makes. Emerson is like a completely different person out on the ice. He made smart offensive-zone passes. His handling of the puck at top speed has vastly improved; he has control over the puck that we didn't see in camp and during the pre-season. In the past, when he would get bumped in open ice, he'd automatically get knocked down. No more! He was staying on his skates and even bumping back. I even saw him finishing his checks on the boards. He seemed to respond really well when he was paired with Peter Holland. Playing against other rookies is one thing, but I would be shocked if he didn't make it to the lineup out of camp. He's ready and the only thing standing in his way is himself.
-- Peter Holland (C): I forgot how big this kid is. He looks like he's put some muscle on his 6'2" frame. His puck handling was strong for most of the game. As said above, he and Emerson Etem played really well together. It wasn't just Holland setting up Etem. Both guys would make a run towards the net and find each other. There was one play where Etem took the puck to the boards and Holland barrelled through the center, knocking everyone out of his way, and Etem found him for a quick wrister. My only knock on Holland is that when he would decide that his shift was over, he'd completely lose track of the puck and someone would fly past him on a breakaway. This happened on the last goal of the game (I think). Holland made a bad turn over and William Karlsson flew away with the puck on a breakaway and scored.
-- Ryan Lasch (RW): Damn, he's fast.
-- Max Friberg (LW): He was hitting everything he saw. The only problem is that he would lose sight of the puck when he went to hit someone against the boards.
-- Andy Welinski (D): Looked very lost and overwhelmed. He was watching his d-partner as if he needs a cue of where to be.
-- Andrew O'Brien (D): He's definitely a big kid (6'3", 200lbs), but he's slow. He had a penalty shot (given out instead of minor penalties). If you haven't seen the penalty shot in a scrimmage, I'll give you most over-simplified explanation ever. The player taking the shot skates towards the goal while everyone else chases after him. Even with a head start, the opposing player caught up to O'Brien because he was so slow. O'Brien managed to out-muscle the player and score, though.
-- Devante Smith-Pelly (RW): Kid looks like he managed to melt off some of the baby fat. His skating looks much better which leads me to believe the foot he broke in World Juniors was still bothering him towards the end of the season. He was quick and agile. He hasn't lost his edge at all. He and Rickard Rakell were getting into some physical battles. One thing he needs to work on is knowing when to pass. There were occasions where he would skate the puck into the zone, looking, looking, looking for an option and then he'd end up in a battle on the boards with the defender
-- Nic Kerdiles (LW): He was awarded a penalty shot, like O'Brien, and he scored. He's a quick, big guy. The one thing he's going to need to work on is his one-on-one battles for the puck. He was occasionally out-worked by smaller players. I think after one year at Wisconsin, he's going to be a completely different player. He need to play against better players.
-- Igor Bobkov (G): Really good lateral movement in his crease. No one could get anything in on him down low. He has a fast glove hand, but is vulnerable up top.
-- Kevin Roy (C): One hell of a wrist shot up top. He looked like Corey Perry scoring his usual top shelf goal from up close. He scored a quick goal on a breakaway that made me say 'woah'. He's not a big guy at 5'9", but he can fly, kinda like Andy McDonald.
-- Hampus Lindholm (D): Ok, I can see why they went after this guy. He was completely calm on the ice. He look like he was in complete control. Remember when Scott Niedermayer would get the puck and just slow everything down, he was like that. He was completely aware of all his teammates and his opponents. Very impressive.