KENT – The Thunderbirds hit the ice again Friday for the second day of training camp and followed the same schedule as Thursday. The 15 and 16-year-old prospects played a couple of scrimmages and the returning players hit the ice for two practices.
The full camp kicks off at 3 p.m. Saturday with scrimmages featuring the veteran players at the ShoWare Center.
Here are the notable items from Friday.
As was the case Thursday, Kaden Elder and Nolan Volcan were the best players on the ice for the prospect scrimmages. Elder in particular looks ready to go for the regular season. He skated with confidence, forechecked hard, and made plays while scoring a couple of goals. Two of his goals were highlight-reel worthy, as he first stripped a defender of the puck and went in alone to score. He followed that with a nice toe-drag move to get free and rip a wrist shot that found the net.
Friday was the camp debut of Baker Shore, who looks like a very strong player. Shore was drafted in the sixth round of last year’s Bantam Draft, and if Seattle can convince him to sign it would be a huge plus for the club. He comes from a hockey family as his brother Drew has appeared in the NHL and brother Quentin is a prospect with the Portland Winterhawks. He lasted to the sixth round because the speculation is that he was leaning towards the NCAA.
Shore was playing on the wing with Elder and their line controlled the play on nearly every shift they had. Shore will be in the main camp with the older players and we’ll get to see how he fares against stiffer competition.
Sahvan Khaira looked strong again on Friday as did fellow defensemen Brandon Schuldhaus and Jarret Tyszka.
MacKenzie Wight had a strong day and overall a great camp. He scored several times, showed good speed and made a lot of plays that generated chances.
T-Birds’ legend Glen Goodall scored 262 goals in a Seattle uniform – a WHL record. Friday morning his son Jacksyn Goodall carried on the family tradition and scored a goal in a T-Birds sweater. Jacksyn was parked in front of the net and banged home a centering pass for his first goal of training camp.
Vets get a workout
The returning players hit the ice for a couple of practice sessions Friday. In the morning the coaches ran them through a number of skills drills and in the afternoon they had a full practice.
The morning session ended with a shootout contest in which one miss eliminated you. Keegan Kolesar was the winner as the big forward scored on each of his attempts, which brought cheers from his teammates.
Danny Mumaugh did not participate in practice as he was nursing a minor injury and sat out as a precaution.
Connor Honey was again absent from training camp.
While it may be too early to determine the lines that Seattle will be deploying this year, it was interesting to see how the forwards were matched up in the afternoon practice. The top line from last year of Justin Hickman-Mathew Barzal-Ryan Gropp was intact, as would be expected. Scott Eansor was reunited with winger Sam McKechnie on what would be considered Seattle’s shut-down line. Kolesar replaced the departed Jaimen Yakubowski on the wing for that line.
Goaltender Logan Flodell looks like he is going to be a good player for the T-Birds. During the practices he showed a very strong, and quick, glove hand. The goalie situation continues to be a great camp battle to keep an eye on.