Nolan Patrick looked fast, stronger than a few months ago and his hands are just as good as they ever were. Sometimes after an injury layoff they take some time to get back to where the player was before. Not with Patrick. I saw him passing as seamlessly as he ever has. Here’s what he said after the first session of Rookie Camp:
Ivan Kosorenkov – He was invited back. He’s the only rookie camp invitee and he’s well on his way to being signed. It’s not a lock but he looks even stronger and more confident than he was back in July. Here’s my scrimmage notes from July on this talented Russian.
He had the best goal I saw. He faked a pass to a teammate and ripped in a no-look wrist shot. He had jump. He handled the puck well in traffic. He should be back in September.
He trained hard in Moscow and now he hopes to get an NHL contract out of camp.
Issac Ratcliffe – He will go back to Guelph. There’s no doubt about that. But his time in camp will be good for him. He’s super positive and he’s looking stronger especially when they were battling for the puck in tight quarters. His speed is terrific. As I’ve said before, he will be a beast, just give him some time. Here’s an example of that drill.
Further up the turnpike, Blake Speers is heating up. Drafted 67th overall in 2015, I always felt he was an offensive talent. In a shortened season last year he had 15 goals in 30 games in his last year of junior hockey. He will play for Binghamton this season unless he piles up goals in the preseason. The Devils can use some scoring from the wing and they’ll certainly give him a look in camp. Here’s a look at one of his goals:
photo by Anthony Mingioni
video courtesy of the New Jersey Devils