As a 16-year-old, Dallas Stars prospect Devin Shore felt like he was being overpowered by more physically mature opponents. That was one of the driving forces behind his decision to play NCAA hockey rather than going the OHL route, as he explained to the team’s website.
“It wasn’t an easy decision. I flip-flopped back and forth,” Shore said. “The OHL is such a great option, but you have to pick what is right for you. The biggest thing for me is that I needed more time to develop. I was a small kid going into my 16-year-old OHL year, and there were guys stronger than me and way more mature physically, so I figured the college route extends the window to become a pro.”
The 19-year-old is taking that extra time to bulk up, if nothing else.
When the Stars selected him in the second round (61st overall) in 2012, Shore was listed at 185 lbs. He’s impressively managed to pack on 20 lbs. to his 6-foot-1 frame in the past two years while distinguishing himself in the NCAA, including becoming Maine’s first freshman to lead the team in scoring since a fellow named Gustav Nyquist accomplished that task.
It all leads to glowing reviews from Stars management, even if it’s unclear how far he is from being ready to make the big jump(s).
“Devin had a really strong season. He’s a real solid player, smart. He was one of the better players in college hockey,” Stars assistant GM Les Jackson said. “He has a great attitude, good work ethic. He is a pretty impressive player and person.”
Patrick Sieloff will take part in the Calgary Flames development camp next week, having had the vast majority of his 2013-14 season cut short by a staph infection.
Sieloff, a second-round pick of the Flames in 2012, joined the Abbotsford Heat in the American Hockey League last fall, becoming the youngest player on the roster at the time, according to the Abbotsford News.
But the 20-year-old defenceman, a former member of the U.S. world junior team, appeared in only two games for the Heat, before he was sidelined.
“It’s so great to be here,” Sieloff told the Flames’ website. “I’ve been feeling good all summer. There hasn’t been any hiccups or anything. For me, this is camp … it’s staying on the ice and staying healthy.
“I can build confidence off of those two things.”
His perceived maturity is something Troy Ward, the former head coach of the Flames’ top minor league team, which has since moved out of Abbotsford to Glens Falls, NY., lauded prior to the start of the 2013-14 AHL regular season.
“He’s 19 going on 29,” said Ward, as per the Abbotsford News. “He’s playing as the youngest guy in the league, but he doesn’t make you feel that way at all. His maturity is extremely high as a hockey player, and that’s what’s afforded him to be here.”
The Florida Panthers hiring of Gerard Gallant as head coach is cause for a reunion with young star Jonathan Huberdeau.
Gallant coached Huberdeau with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL and the two won a pair of Memorial Cup titles together. As you might expect, the 21-year-old forward is happy to be back with his old coach as George Richards of the Miami Herald shared.
“I’m excited for this,” Huberdeau said. “He’s a guy who is intense and into the game. He keeps you up throughout the game. I think the guys are going to react to him. He wants what is best for the players.”
In three seasons at Saint John under Gallant (165 games), Huberdeau had 88 goals and 212 points in the regular season and another 69 points (37 goals) in 55 playoff games. Those kinds of numbers are hard to ignore and the Panthers will hope the new coach can rekindle the young forward’s offensive game.
Huberdeau struggled this season with just nine goals and 28 points in 69 games. The Panthers will need a lot more than that out of the third overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft if they’re going to climb in the Eastern Conference.
A first-rounder from last year’s draft and the potential No. 1 pick at next year’s are among the 42 players invited to the U.S. Junior Evaluation Camp, to be held from Aug. 2-9 in Lake Placid, New York.
Mike McCarron — taken 25th overall by Montreal at the ’13 Draft — and Jack Eichel, regarded by many as a top-two pick in 2015, were two of the 42, USA Hockey announced on Wednesday. The camp will be an important one for the Americans, as they look to bounce back from a disappointing quarterfinal loss at the 2014 World Juniors, just the second time the U.S. has failed to medal at the event in five tries.
In addition to Eichel and McCarron, the U.S. roster features…
— Cole Cassels, son of ex-NHLer Andrew
— Dominic Turgeon, son of ex-NHLer Pierre
— Ryan MacInnis, son of ex-NHLer Al
— Brendan Burke, son of ex-NHLer Sean
The team will be coached by former Ohio State bench boss Mark Osiecki, and will have input from the likes of Don Waddell (international consultant), Tony Granato (camp coach) and Mike Sullivan (camp coach).
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Chicago’s Bryan Bickell is feeling mentally refreshed after the Olympic break and ready to show the team he can perform better. (ESPNChicago)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,500 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday night’s NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $350. Starts Wednesday at 7:30pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Jets captain Andrew Ladd didn’t rise and shine early to watch Team Canada beat Sweden on Sunday. Here’s to hoping fans in Winnipeg don’t run him out of town for such insolence. (Winnipeg Sun)
Detroit forward Riley Sheahan, meanwhile, is taking great pride in seeing Canada win gold. (Detroit Free Press)
FYI: The NHL roster freeze was lifted at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday night. Gird your loins for the season of rumors like this one yesterday.
Flyers prospect Scott Laughton is having a monster year in junior hockey and had another hat trick last night. (Buzzing The Net)
We know you’re already thinking ahead to what Olympic rosters could look like in 2018, right? How about this look at what Team Canada might bring to Pyeongchang. (Toronto Sun)
Curious note: The New Jersey Devils moved goalie Maxime Clermont from their ECHL team to the AHL. The Albany Devils already have two healthy goalies and don’t play again until the weekend. Unless there’s an injury that’s unknown, all eyes belong on Martin Brodeur. (Albany Times Union)