Colorado Avalanche Wrap up Prospect Development Camp Seriousness

ENGLEWOOD, CO - JUNE 29: Colorado Avalanche forward Shane Bowers, #67, skates during the Av's Development Camp at the Family Sports Center June 29, 2018. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
ENGLEWOOD, CO - JUNE 29: Colorado Avalanche forward Shane Bowers, #67, skates during the Av's Development Camp at the Family Sports Center June 29, 2018. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche’s 2019 Prospect Development Camp is about to conclude. Here are a smattering of impressions.

The Colorado Avalanche concluded the serious portion of the 2019 Prospect Development Camp with a 3-on-3 game in Fort Collins. The camp is set to wrap up with team activities in Northern Colorado, which I suspect will be “team building” in nature.

I was only able to attend the final day of the actual camp. However, I watched all the sessions, so I was able to formulate some impressions. None were overly serious, but here we go.

Defenseman Conor Timmins is back. The Avalanche stole him at the #32 position in 2017 — he was scouted to go in the first round. Unfortunately, he missed all of last year trying to completely shake off the symptoms of a concussion.

Well, he participated fully in the prospect development camp. Not only did he participate in all on-ice practices, he skated in the 3-on-3 game. My understanding is the big test is going to be if he can handle the noise and crowds of a big arena, but his participation in the small-format game is encouraging.

What’s more, he looked like he’s made strides, especially in his skating. He’s been participating in practices both with the Avs and the AHL Colorado Eagles for a while. I see definite improvement.

He’s also an awko-taco kind of young man. At one point, he didn’t understand part of a drill, and he dropped his stick. He struggled to pick it up, and everyone — himself included — laughed. I really hope he can make the stride to join the team next season.

He scored a goal:

Forward Martin Kaut hasn’t progressed quite as much as I’d like to have seen. However, I’m not going to worry too much because the kid is still 19. He missed a lot of training and conditioning when he had to have the procedure to correct a minor heart condition.

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I do love how Kaut skates. Though he’s Czech, the winger features the power skating I typically associate with Russians. He hesitated at certain points during the game, but he seemed to find ways to correct himself. Hey, like I said, the kid is still just 19, and I’m delighted that he shows an obvious willingness to learn.

He’s also developed a new physicality to his game. During a drill aimed at defending without a stick, he bowled over a stickless Brandon Saigeon then landed on top of him. When Kaut was the stickless one, he still manhandled Saigeon. He capped the day off with tossing Brandon into the goalie.

Our 16th-overall from this season, Alex Newhook, is ridic. Oh, my heavens, the way that kid skates. Just watching him warm up was a pleasure, and the way he participated in drills — I felt the breeze in the stands from his speed.

He does have this funny habit of left jazz hand when he’s getting his speed up. He’ll only use his right hand to hold his stick and kind of wave his left hand. I don’t know if it’ll come up during game situations, but it was funny during the drills.

Maybe this is where the jazz hands come from:

Here’s his sick shootout goal:

What moves! Unfortunately, it was one move too many. His forward momentum stopped, so the goal was disallowed. What stick work, though!

He’s also got the smiling down:

Shane Bowers has a personality:

He looked good both in the drills and the game. I imagine he’ll be competing for a position on the team out of training camp.

Sampo Ranta has taken strides in his playing. Colorado selected the Finn in the third round last year. The 19-year-old didn’t exactly kill it at the University of Minnesota — 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists) in 36 games as a freshman. However, I saw improvement in his game over last year’s camp.

Aw, our little accidental third-rounder, Matthew Stienburg. He looks like such a sweet boy. He did get a goal during the drill:

Look at his sweet face (always to the left of Bowers):

I’m emphasizing his sweetness because… yeah, let’s just hope the lad is having fun. Unless he takes great strides at Cornell University, I just can’t imagine him being able to turn pro. You never know, though.

As part of their off-ice activities, the prospects did go up to Red Rocks and participate in a 40-minute workout that included jumps:


And ultimately concluded in a jog from the very bottom to the very top — a 500-foot climb in less than a quarter-mile. Last year’s fourth-rounder, Tyler Weiss said this of the drill:

"“We ran a lot of steps. That is mostly what we did honestly. We ran up a thousand flight of stairs.”"

Maybe not quite that many, but watch the video of the full workout:

Making those poor boys work out so hard at altitude — rude. (They seemed to enjoy themselves.)

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After the activity tomorrow, the prospects will scatter to the winds. Six of the prospects are already signed with the organization. At least seven of the drafted prospects will be going away to college.

Of the other drafted prospects, and maybe some of the invitees, they’ll probably be trying to make the Colorado Avalanche team out of camp.