NHL development camps are currently underway and there's not been a shortage of participation of Canadian Hockey League participants. While evaluations continue to determine who has been invited to the major camp. However, a few athletes from all over the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) have been a source of first to be noticed:
Nolan Allan - Prince Albert Raiders / Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks are getting their first glimpse of young blue liner Nolan Allan since calling upon the Prince Albert Raiders rearguard with the NHL Draft's 2021 opening round.
A noted defenseman with a shutdown, Allan has spent his entire WHL career with the Raiders from the moment he was selected as the third pick in 2018's WHL Draft and the last year witnessed him and the Davidson, Sask., native win international acclaim for aiding Canada to achieve a gold medal at the 2021 Under-18s.
Presently, he's preparing for the Blackhawks in the development camp, Allan is raring to find out what he needs to maintain his unwavering improvement.
"I have never been around an NHL camp before, so I don't really know what it is like," Allan said to the Sports' Scott Powers. "(I am) just excited to get the experience and take it all in and use that going forward - use that to better myself."
While Allan is a possible candidate for a return to the Raiders in the coming season however, his first appearance with the Blackhawks will surely provide him with valuable insight as he progresses to the next step.
Will Cuylle - Windsor Spitfires / New York Rangers
The name of an already-established NHL talent could add unnecessary expectations to a rising prospect, however Windsor Spitfires forward Will Cuylle has only accepted the nickname frequently attached to his nickname, the one from Washington Capitals rugged winger and Plymouth Whalers graduate Tom Wilson.
"(Wilson's) type of game and the style he plays, that is someone I still try to emulate my game after," Cuylle said to Mollie Walker from The New York Post. "Being physical, playing hard, and playing simple, not too fancy, nothing flashy, just hard."
But it's not just about physicality for Cuylle who scored two goals in the first practice of the Rangers development camp showing the scoring ability that he demonstrated during his time with the Spitfires in the season 2019-20. It was the successful second season of his career which saw him surpass the numbers of his previous season in the final stretch of the year with 20 goals and 22 assists across 62 appearances.
The 18-game schedule was set in the minor-league affiliated Hartford Wolf Pack last season, Cuylle brings with him some knowledge of the professional leagues to give him an idea of what will be expected when he gets the full-time promotion to Broadway Blueshirts. Broadway Blueshirts.
Justin Barron - Halifax Mooseheads / Colorado Avalanche
Justin Barron is back at full force.
After 2019-20, during which he played only in a limited capacity as a result of blood clot issue and a blood clot concern, the Halifax Mooseheads defenseman had a fantastic bounce-back the following season in which he was able to serve as captain in the first year of his tenure, as well as continuing to improve the offensive aspect of his game. He scored a total of 31 points - which is the most of all Halifax rearguards - in 33 games.
The 19-year-old local product is now preparing for his next task taking part in the development camp of the Colorado Avalanche. As Barron is looking to secure his way to a club with a strong defense, the young blue-liner is eager to take on the challenge and seeing it as an opportunity to learn which is the next step on his journey following his last season's conclusion by playing seven games with the American League's Colorado Eagles, the Avalanche's most prestigious minor league affiliate.
"I think it just gave me my first taste of pro hockey - the jump is pretty big," Barron told Avalanche Team reporter Callie Parmele. "I played as a teenager playing in the QMJHL and now you're playing fully grown men. The game is much more efficient. I feel it was important for me to step up and gain a more experience and to get your feet wet. I believe it's helped me in the first week of this week. I hope to carry this into the the main camp in week two."
Dylan Guenther - Edmonton Oil Kings / Arizona Coyotes
Chosen as the ninth pick for the 2021 NHL Draft, Dylan Guenther was a huge hit during his time at the Arizona Coyotes' development camp that was highlighted by a clever shootout goal in scrimmage that made waves on social media.
"You just kind of focus in and dial in and just try to score, and like practice, you know a lot of moves," the Edmonton Oil Kings right-wing told The Arizona Republic's Jose Romero. "I guess that is the one that I go to."
For Guenther Guenther, who is the 2018-19 WHL rookie of the year The next step to his goal of getting a place in the NHL this season is to continue to impress when the Coyotes will host the 2019 Rookie Faceoff Tournament that includes five other NHL teams that are icing freshman teams.
The player was originally selected as a top pick in the 2017 WHL Draft at the age of 18, Guenther was the top player in the WHL in scoring per game in the 2017 season after scoring the league's highest score of 12 points and twelve assists over 12 games.
Mason McTavish - Peterborough Petes / Anaheim Ducks
After signing his entry-level deal with Anaheim earlier this month Mason McTavish is once back on the ice and ready to shine on North American ice following the 2020-21 season that saw him take part on loan in Switzerland.
While abroad the athletically-developed pivot impressed with his ability to adjust to the professional game and score 11 points in 13 games in EHC Olten from the lower-tier Swiss league. Then he moved for Texas where he was able to help Canada achieve its first gold medal in the U18s in the year since 2013.
Expected to make a return to the Peterborough Petes where he aims to replicate his excellent freshman season which saw him place sixth in scoring for the team with 42 points and 13 assists and 29 goals in 57 appearances. McTavish will be trying his hand at in the Ducks training camp for development.
"Competing, knowing where to be offensively and defensively, and doing a good job of that," McTavish said to reporters about his goals for camp. "The coaches will guide you through small things that they believe you could learn to do better at. It's a great time for your team."
Xavier Bourgault - Shawinigan Cataractes / Edmonton Oilers
Xavier Bourgault has entered the Edmonton Oilers' development camp with a focus-oriented mentality.
"I want to show my game and what I can do on the ice," the Shawinigan Cataractes forward told Oilers team reporter Paul Gazzola. "(I want to) show them that, yes, I am an offensive player, but I can be good in the defensive zone, (and) show them I am good all around the ice."
A skilled maker, Bourgault has scored north of one point per game in the past two seasons for the Cataractes with a dominant sophomore season in 2019-20. he was the top scorer with 33 goals in his 63 appearances, and also the top spot was shared by him for overall scoring with the score of 71 points.
In addition, the resident from L'Islet, Que., is also hoping to secure an appearance at the top of the list as part Canadian team that will be competing in World Juniors 2022 Live Stream co-hosted by Edmonton and Red Deer. Bourgault was last in action to play for Great White North with Team Canada White at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge where he scored two points over five games.
Logan Stankoven - Kamloops Blazers / Dallas Stars
Logan Stankoven is the latest player to be a candidate for shedding the doubts about his size.
The tiny pivot is still doing his bit and did it well enough when it was the case that the Dallas Stars selected him in the two-round of 2021's NHL Draft.
Presently attending Dallas training camp for development In Dallas' development camp, the Kamloops Blazers forward is ready to showcase his offensive abilities that his team has to offer which is highlighted by his capacity to score regularly. Stankoven was tied in 2019-20 with the top spot of all WHL freshmen , scoring 29 goals and he excelled in his offensive game in the concluded season when he scored the highest number of goals with three assists in only six games.
In an in-camp team along with Mavrik Bourque (Shawinigan Cataractes) and Ottawa 67's graduates Tye Felhaber, Stankoven hopes to add his scoring flair to the Stars team on the road.
"It has just been so cool," Stankoven wrote about his experience at camp, according to the athletic's Saad Yousuf. "Even the very first day that I came here, I watched Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn and Ben Bishop walk in. It's almost unbelievable. It is almost like you look looking in your mirror to think"Wow, I've had a fantastic opportunity to be a part of something unique and earn a living from playing hockey."I don't think about it as a privilege."
Jack Quinn - Ottawa 67's / Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres embark on a reconstruction, one of the team's most valuable players are Jack Quinn of the Ottawa the 67's. He is a fast and agile forward who is a master at hockey's most important aspect scoring goals.
Picked by the Sabres as the 8th selection of the 2020 NHL Draft, the Cobden, Ont., native was the highest goal scorer in the draft class, and was one of only two CHL players from coast to coast who achieve the 50-goal mark in the 2019-20. Since the OHL shut down for the last campaign, Quinn then had an initial chance to transition to professional life. He was a success, scoring nine points over 15 appearances in the Sabres farm club in Rochester.
Quinn is a natural winger. The Sabres are also interested in Quinn's capacity to come up with strategies and will let Quinn try his hand in the middle when the team gets on the ice during the 2021 Prospect Challenge.
"I think there are a few things playing centre that kind of bring (my skills) out a bit," Quinn said to Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News. "I enjoy playing the puck in across the middle, and controlling the play a more, which can become a little more competitive, because I'm more involved in the "D zone. I'm thinking that the fact that I'm able to keep my speed going across the ice and not have beginnings and stops at the wall could be an advantage."
Dawson Mercer - Chicoutimi Sagueneens / New Jersey Devils
Does Dawson Mercer be among this year's rising stars who make the first leap into the NHL?
A forward that excels on both sides of the skating rink, the Chicoutimi Sagueneens centre is a dream for coaches and brings the required skill set which could help him get fit for the big time in the fall. QMJHL's defensive forward of the year, Mercer is also a force in his offensive game, and although he only made 23 games during the season that was cut short due to pandemic, he averaged 1.57 points per game.
If Mercer be able to return to the Sagueneers in the future, he'll be doing so in a leadership position and was an alternate captain between 2020 and 21 in his first year with the club. He will also continue to refine his game. In the meantime, the next step is participating in the Devils development camp and getting ready to compete in the Prospects Challenge.
"Pictures don't do it justice. It's not as good unless you're in person," Mercer told reporters about his arrival at the camp for development. "That was my experience upon entering the camp. When you look at the photos on the walls as well as the rich background they have and it will make you want to be part of this organization and is so much more."