Thrashers Prospect Camp

Thrashers prospect camp opens up today and will run through July 19. This gives management and coaches one of their first real looks at many of Atlanta’s youngsters trying to come up through the system. Not too much else happening in my little corner of the league, so this is the best I could do for now.
Consultant and scout Bob Owen will oversee this training camp. The first four days will see the players working with Ray Bear, the strength and conditioning coach (and perhaps the best name for a strength coach). This will give the players a good idea of what will be asked of them if and when they reach the big club. The last six days will be on-ice training; mostly power skating and general instruction on the NHL game.

As this is open to the public, most fans will be looking closely at players such as Lehtonen, Slater, Coburn and Sharrow. Every Thrasher fan is over-anxious to see how Lehtonen will take to a regulation NHL rink. Other players who could turn out to be a pleasant surprise include Maloney, Desbiens and Stewart. Here are the players participating:

C Colin Stuart————Colorado College (WCHA)

C Jim Slater————–Michigan State (CCHA)

C Brad Schell————Spokane (WHL)

C Colin FitzRandolph—-St. Lawrence (ECAC)

RW Anthony Aquino——Oshawa (OHL)

RW Pat Dwyer————Western Michigan (CCHA)

RW Colton Fretter——–Michigan State (CCHA)

LW Brian Maloney——–Michigan State (CCHA)

LW Guillaume Desbiens–Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)

LW Karl Stewart———-Plymouth (OHL)

D Braydon Coburn——Portland (WHL)

D Jimmy Sharrow——-Halifax (QMJHL)

D Tyler Boldt————Kamloops (WHL)

D Jeff Dwyer————Yale (ECAC)

D Paul Flache———–Greenville (ECHL)

D Lane Manson———Moose Jaw (WHL)

D Evan Nielsen———Notre Dame (CCHA)

D Brian Sipotz———-Miami of Ohio (CCHA)

D Marc St. Jean——–Wayne State (CCHA)

G Kari Lehtonen——-Jokerit (Finnish Elite League)

G Michael Garnett—-Greenville (ECHL)

On the free agent front, nothing much is happening. Talks with Slava Kozlov are seemingly at a stand-still. He and his agent are waiting to see all the offers for him before he decides on a course of action. What I find interesting is that there have been two articles within the past four days saying the same thing, that the talks are stalled. Both sides are trying to show their resolve in the press, putting pressure on the other. I get the impression that both sides want to reach an agreement with each other, but they have decided to play the waiting game for now. Smart move on both parts, you could say. My only worry is that Kozlov may get frustrated and sign with another team. I suppose we’ll have to wait. If a deal doesn’t get done (god forbid), possible replacements include Ray Whitney, Vinny Prospal and Magnus Arvedson. And yes, I truly believe that Atlanta has as much chance as any team to sign one of these players despite what has been echoed before.

Thrashers are also in need of a center. Earlier, they had inquired about Joe Nieuwendyk. But it probably wasn’t much more than that. Unless a really sweet deal presents itself, Atlanta will probably wait to find another center. Waddell mentioned about using the waiver draft to pick up a player, but that’s too far off to speculate. Too much can (and probably will) happen between now and then.

That’s it for now. Talk amongst yourselves…

8 Responses to Thrashers Prospect Camp

  1. Primis says:

    I’ve been meaning to ask you WHAT it is with the Thrashers and former Michigan Staters… they’re floating around the league, no doubt, but Atlanta seems to have taken most of them in the last several years.

    Atlanta could really use either Slater or Stuart to pick it up and show something, I think. I don’t know how well Maloney’s game will translate into the pros though…

    I could see Prospal in a Thrashers uniform if he doesn’t get good looks from the big-spenders in the offseason, and actually I think Prospal might be a nice addition out of the three you mentioned (Whitney, Propsal, Arvedson).

    I still think Atlanta is right where they want to be and just need a few years to flesh out now. If guys like Lehtonen and Slater can void being busts, there’s some formidable talent building…

    — Primis.

  2. cwthrash says:

    Waddell was with the Wings before he came here. Maybe he still has some ties with that area, gets some info he likes. I couldn’t say for sure though.

    It could be the scouts and the staff like the game that the college kids play. If I’m right, there are about 15 prospects in the organization that play in college. Not sure what the average of college prospects for other teams is, but that seems kinda high to me. There has to be something to that. I’m guessing there is at least.

    If Kozzie does leave, I’d be happy with either Whitney or Prospal. I like the consistency that Whitney has shown the last few years. Not sure if Prospal could repeat what he did last year, but his size is an advantage over Whitney. Of course, playing with either of the dynamic duo, either Ray or Vinny would get a chance to show off some skill and rack up quite a few points.

  3. MantaRay says:

    The team to watch in the East this season. I can see alot of improvement with a Hartley camp, Dafoe in training camp and alot good youth.

  4. Tradedude says:

    oh really, randall simon DIDNT intend to hurt the italian sausage.

  5. VACCAAD185 says:

    We all no that he did do it on purpose and had intentionally done it to hurt the italian sausage edbelfourfan!


  6. amok says:

    What do you think the odds of Arvedson ending up in Atlanta are? I’ve heard Vancouver and the Rangers mentioned most often with him. I think he’d help you guys more than Whitney would.

  7. cwthrash says:

    Tough to say. They want Kozlov over anybody but are still playing the waiting game. When one of these four wingers mentioned decides on a team, the others may find buyers fairly quick after that. Atlanta is looking for a center as well but they may wait a bit longer for that.

    A problem is this ownership change. There has been a snag and McDavid still does not officially own the team. That kinda puts the team in limbo, not knowing what type of budget they will have after the change. Thrasher payroll is pretty low and he might decide to increase it, but until he is in control McDavid can’t make any demands or suggestions as to the budget. Tough situation when going after free agents.

    I wouldn’t mind any of those guys on the team, but I prefer Kozlov because he already plays well with Heatley and Savard. But as long as we get one good offensive winger, I’ll be happy.

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