An Exciting Time...
Former B's defenseman and current assistant GM Don Sweeney weighs in after presiding over his sixth Development Camp
WILMINGTON, MA -- Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney admitted that it's hard not to compare Development Camps.
And on Monday, after presiding over his sixth Bruins "Dev Camp" the former B's defenseman attempted to put this summer's experience in perspective.
"It is a tough thing not to do," said Sweeney. "I think internally, we do need to do it...[and look at the] the structure of camp and how things run.
"Now we’ll talk them a little bit and find out if we pushed them a little bit too far," continued the B's assistant GM. "All that stuff has a factor, and shows up on the ice at times. If they’re too fatigued to scrimmage, and the scouts look at it and say, 'Boy that’s not what I saw during the course of the year’ you’re offsides in that regard.
"But I think the overall initial impressions are that this was a really good group of guys," he said.
The makeup of this particular camp was unique, what with six goaltenders and seven invitees.
"We had a few more invites, which means the kids might be a little bit older," said Sweeney. "We had some kids that have been here now for a couple years so they’re familiar with the camp environment and the expectations.
"But that also helps to bring the other younger kids that haven’t gone through it for the first time."
And now, after playing against skaters from all around hockey, Sweeney thinks fans are in for a treat as the B's prospects mature.
"It’s a very exciting time for the organization, to be honest with you, because these kids are all under the sort of the same umbrella," said Sweeney. "So, it’s kind of a unique thing to have all your guys that you’ve been tracking and just recently drafted.
"They now go up on the whiteboard and sort of see how the puzzle starts to come together, you know hopefully down the road."
And down that road, Sweeney hopes to see some of these prospects employing the things they learned at Dev Camp while wearing Boston's Black & Gold. But that might already be happening.
Goalie Malcolm Subban, who was just drafted by the B's in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, was straightforward when asked what he liked best about camp. He explained that it was when he learned there is a time to have fun and a time to be serious.
"I love that, to tell you the honest truth," said Sweeney. "I mean, first part of camp when…you can’t even hold on to your itinerary, you’re forgetting things and such that mom’s not here to pick up the stuff for you.
"He literally just went from the excitement of being drafted in the last weekend to being thrown into this environment, which can catch anyone off guard especially when you’re 17 or 18-years-old.
"So I think that’s great."