Youngsters get a look in Wild development camp

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 7, 2008 - 10:34 PM

The team's development camp begins today at Xcel Energy Center.

Twenty-seven players, including Wild center James Sheppard and a smattering of other youngsters who have a chance to make the Wild roster next season, will take part in the team's development camp today through Monday at Xcel Energy Center.

"A lot of things can happen before next season, but there are a number of guys here who have a chance to make the team, guys like Benoit Pouliot, [Colton] Gillies, [Cal] Clutterbuck and even people who can reverse a bad year last year like a guy like Petr Kalus," assistant General Manager Tommy Thompson said.

"While you always look for the enthusiasm level for those guys, the guys that'll be under the closest scrutiny are the goalies who are on tryout [Cody St. Jacques and Steven Stanford], an invitee forward like [Justin] Hodgman and some of the college guys."

All four of last month's draft picks -- Tyler Cuma (first round), Marco Scandella (second), Sean Lorenz (fourth) and Eero Elo (fifth) -- also will participate.

"The idea of the camp for the guys we already have is just to fine-tune so when we are assessing them [in training camp], they're a little better able to do things," Thompson said.

"This is a development camp. It's not a boot camp where they're skating up and down the ice to get in shape, and it's not a camp where we're sitting up in the stands with our clipboards and giving guys checks or X's.

"But I would be lying if I said there's no judgment. We assess if people do not have the attitude we're looking for, or do have the attitude we're looking for. All those things register in your mind."

The players will be led in daily on-ice sessions by the Wild and Houston Aeros coaches and receive daily strength and conditioning education sessions and nutritional instruction. There also will be two scrimmages, but all workouts are closed to the public.

Mojzis signs

The Wild signed defenseman Tomas Mojzis to a multiyear contract Monday. Mojzis, 26, is a former eighth-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He has played 13 NHL games with Vancouver and St. Louis and spent last season in the Russian Continental League.

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