The radar gun made an appearance at this afternoon's Development Camp session. On the main pad, the Blue and Gold groups separately rotated between three stations - two for shooting, with a center ice passing area nestled in between. A shooter tutor tested the players' accuracy at one end, while they had the opportunity to get clocked for bragging rights at the other. With the radar gun in play, each skater fired eight shots on net (two each of the snap, wrist, slap, and backhand variety). For the sake of data capture, the best scores of the snap and wrist shots are combined into one category. Not only was the general speed for each player's snap and wrister roughly 1-2 MPH apart, but most of the guys released the puck in the same manner during those sets. Below is a MPH chart for each participant.
Blueliners T.J. Brennan (93), Drew Schiestel (88), Mike Kotska (88), and Alex Biega (87) clocked in with the fastest slappers. We knew that Brennan and Biega could bring the heat, while the howitzers of Schiestel and Kostka were a pleasant surprise. Biega also flicked the quickest backhander (49 MPH).
On the wrist/snap shot side of things, Mike Weber (74), Mark Van Guilder (73), T.J. Brennan (71), Luke Adam (71), Chris Butler (70), and Marc-Andre Gragnani (70) all eclipsed the 70-MPH plateau. Van Guilder's snap shot was just five miles-per-hour off his 78-MPH slapper.
Today's moment of levity came when the first Blue group hit the radar station. To my point earlier, Felix Schutz didn't really know the difference between a snap shot and a wrist shot (we actually remarked about his snap ability two days ago in this space). When explained to him, it was clear that a traditional wrist shot is not part of repertoire. This was further evidenced by his awkward looking 57-MPH "bomb". Don't worry, Felix. We know you can play. (Gogulla later debunked the notion that German coaches don't teach that part of the game by executing a textbook wrister.)
The two squads switched pads midway through the session, with skating and conditioning drills being conducted on the other side.
The players will take the ice from 3-5 PM tomorrow and Tuesday before going their separate ways to hopefully catch some rays. These guys deserve it.