Habs Development Camp Report – Day 1 [with GALLERY]

(Photo by Rick Stephens | All Habs)

By Rick Stephens, Editor-in-Chief, All Habs Hockey Magazine

Flavour of the Day: Vanilla!

BROSSARD, QC. — It should be clear to the Habs community that General Manager Marc Bergevin wants to shape the Canadiens with his guys, and his guys only. Assuming the reins of the on-ice product just over a month before the 2012 Entry Draft, his influence on the selections may have been somewhat muted. That all changed last weekend as the 2013 draft class much more closely bore the Bergevin stamp.

(Photo by Rick Stephens | All Habs)
(Photo by Rick Stephens | All Habs)

The GM’s influence can be felt at this week’s Development Camp too. There’s a homogeneity about the players on the ice — no elements of flash to grab your eye. Much like Bergevin as a player who was known as a safe, stay-at-home defenseman.

A large chunk of skill and skating talent was removed from the core of prospects with the decision to part ways with Danny Kristo, Daniel Pribyl and Alexander Avtsin. In addition players who had the ability to grab the development camp spotlight like Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher have graduated.

As if on cue and to dramatically emphasize the point, the Bell Complex lights dimmed eight minutes into the opening session with only a handful of bulbs remaining to illuminate the ice surface. Players continued through the drills as if skating on a pond under the moon — no standouts indeed. Full illumination returned 17 minutes later.

If you look hard enough, the possible exception to the vanilla group of players is Sebastian Collberg. He doesn’t have the strength and ability to protect the puck like a Pribyl or Galchenyuk but he does have great hands, seemingly able to place the puck where he wants at will. We’ll acknowledge that it was only the first day, more excitement is anticipated from number 38 as the week goes on.

New arrival Christian Thomas looked no worse for wear after leaving the Rangers camp to travel to Montreal. He’s an above-average skater and took every opportunity to show off his shot.

The low-energy practise was conducted by low-energy coach Sylvain Lefebvre of the Hamilton Bulldogs. It may be a surprise to some that Lefebvre is returning for another season after posting a 29-41-1 record in 2012-13, last in the entire AHL. He is being assisted at camp by Director of Player Development, Marty Lapointe.

Marc Bergevin, Rick Dudley, Larry Carriere, Scott Mellanby and Michel Therrien looked on from the gallery.

It was a quiet opening to the Canadiens 2013 Development Camp. We expect things to pick up as we move later in the week.

Day 1 on ice:

Sven ANDRIGHETTO, Alex BELZILE, Mac BENNETT, Matthew BOUDENS, Michaël BOURNIVAL, Tim BOZON, Nikolas BROUILLARD, Sebastian COLLBERG, Michael CONDON, Jordan DEKORT, Darren DIETZ, Ben DUFFY, Morgan ELLIS,  Nathan GLASS, Louis-Philip GUINDON, Zach HALL, Louis LEBLANC, Mark MacMILLAN, Magnus NYGREN, Braeden SHAW, Colin SUELLENTROP, Christian THOMAS, Jarred TINORDI, Daine TODD, Peter TRAINOR,

Injured players:

Connor CRISP, Artturi LEHKONEN, Joonas NATTINEN, Colin SULLIVAN, Dustin WALSH,

Have any questions about Development Camp or the Canadiens prospects? All Habs will be reporting from Brossard all week. Please ask in the comments sections below.