While the pressure of prospect camps sometimes forces players into trying to do too much, or try to play an atypical game, it is still a good opportunity to gauge ability.
I focused on a few players I was keen on seeing and others who forced me to follow them by standing out.
The notes below by no means paint a whole player portrait, rather, I was interested in seeing how certain prospects' skill level, skating ability, and hockey sense compares to others attending the camp.
David Wolf (1989) - 6'2, 216 lbs - Hamburg Freezers
Knowing very little about Wolf, he was someone who stood out immediately. Wolf seems to have a lot of core strength and his build shows it. Understandably, he is a tough target to move. In front of the net, behind it, or along the walls, Wolf simply does not give up the puck easy and can bring out front while fighting off defenders. His skating requires a lot of work.
Tyler Biggs (1993) - Miami University (Ohio)
The greatest improvement in Biggs' play could be attributed to the skating work he has put in over the past month. Biggs seems to have more explosiveness and his diagonal cuts were sharp. Biggs found open ice for himself on several occasions. His wrist shot did not hit the net but had some heat to it. Played a physical game which should come as no surprise to anyone.
Tony Cameranesi (1993) - Waterloo Blackhawks
Definitely one of the top two pure skaters at the camp. His skating is fluid and he seems to just fly up the middle. His footwork also makes him very elusive as he can retrieve the puck in his own zone, avoid a check and bring it back the other way. Cameranesi mostly played between Biggs and Ross but could have showed more creativity and playmaking ability.
Eric Knodel (1990) - 6'6, 225 lbs - University of New Hampshire
Someone I have been following if for no other reason than to see how a 6'6 defenceman develops. Knodel moves well for someone with his height but he needs to get quicker to compete more effectively. Knodel just completed his first season with the Wildcats so he has not seen as much ice-time as some of the other prospects his age. Admittedly, he mentioned that the Leafs development staff have given him homework to improve his footwork. Knodel showed good hockey sense with the puck advancing the puck quickly out of his own zone. He can also afford to be more physical along the boards.
Morgan Rielly (1994) - 6'0, 194 lbs - Moose Jaw Warriors
As advertised. Competes with Tony Cameranesi for best skater award at camp. A multi-directional skater who gives the impression of his skates barely touching the ice surface. His pivots are smooth and effortless and Rielly has great lateral mobility. Rielly showed great hockey sense and vision in where he places himself, how he navigates through bodies, and how he chooses to attack the offensive zone. As Jim Hughes stated, his passes are hard and quick and in my opinion - at the pro-level. Rielly also sought out and found open lanes before shooting...enough about offence...what surprised me most was how well he played defence. His anticipation of plays created turnovers and he advanced the puck forward. In his own zone, Rielly showed patience as his slick turns kept defenders at bay. Rielly's speed allows him to regain position in his own zone to handle one-on-one plays. After Stuart Percy, Rielly may have played the best defence today.
Dennis Robertson (1991) - 6'0, 195 lbs - Brown University
Robertson maintained a low profile but made a couple of excellent first passes. He showed poise under pressure, holding on to the puck until he had drawn in a forechecker before quickly advancing the play. He didn't venture too far beyond his own blueline but took advantage of openings by completing passes through the neutral zone.