Moose Country will be well represented at NHL camps this week including Lunenburg’s Walter Flower and Truro’s Jared McIsaac.
Anaheim Ducks second round picks Antoine Morand (2017) and Benoit-Olivier Groulx (2018) will participate in the Ducks’ rookie camp this Thursday and Friday before suiting up in the 2018 Rookie Faceoff in Las Vegas with the host Vegas Golden Knights, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks from September 8-11.
Goalie Alex Gravel will have the company of defenceman Jake Ryczek at Chicago Blackhawks camp and both are listed on the roster for the rookie tournament in Traverse City, Michigan from September 7-11. Ryczek suffered an upper body injury in a preseason game versus Acadie-Bathurst on August 24th but is making great progress and appears to be close to returning to full strength.
Detroit Red Wings 2018 second round pick Jared McIsaac will also be appearing in the Traverse City tournament along with 2017-18 teammate Filip Zadina as they battle for the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup. The tournament was named in memory of former Mooseheads beat reporter and founder of the hockey website CapGeek Matt Wuest, who passed away in 2015 after a battle with colon cancer.
Arnaud Durandeau leaves Wednesday for New York Islanders camp where he’ll participate for the second time after being drafted in 2017. He is likely to take part in the prospects game versus Philadelphia on September 12th. Jocktan Chainey (2017 NHL Draft) is also leaving this week to join the New Jersey Devils and will be with the team for the Sabres Prospect Challenge in Buffalo September 7-10 as the Devils play in a tournament against the Sabres, Bruins and Penguins prospects.
The NHL Drafted players won’t be the only ones going to camp as defenceman Walter Flower has also received an invitation from the Tampa Bay Lightning. He leaves for Florida tomorrow morning. The Lightning will send a yet to be announced prospects team to Estero, Florida on September 8th to face off against prospects from the Predators and Capitals organizations. It’s not known if Flower will be part of that roster. Mooseheads 2017-18 scoring leader Otto Somppi will most definitely be in the Lightning lineup for the tournament.
That’s an impressive number of NHL camp-bound players for the team that is preparing to host the Memorial Cup in the spring.
The preseason resumes for the Mooseheads this Friday night at 7pm in Springhill, NS where they will visit the Moncton Wildcats. With more than one third of his players away at camps, GM Cam Russell will make several call-ups to help fill out the Mooseheads roster.
See ya in the rink!