Myers scrappy as Rockets launch

With junior camps getting underway, it has taken just one day to see a top prospect begin to assert himself as more of a controlling on-ice presence. Kelowna defenseman Tyler Myers, who said after having his first fight last season that he wanted to "do it more", dropped the gloves with LW Evan Bloodoff in Tuesday's opening camp scrimmage. According to Rockets radio broadcaster Regan Bartel, no real punches were thrown as the 6'7, 204-pound Myers mostly tied up his feisty, 5'11 opponent after a round of pushing and shoving. Much ado about nothing, perhaps. Bloodoff will never be considered a heavyweight (89 PIM in 128 career games), but the exercise is an encouraging start for Myers after being assessed a respectable five fighting majors in 2007-08. Myers isn't nasty by nature, but the Rockets are expecting a natural pick-up from the Albertan who lists Chris Pronger as one of the players he watches most. Teammate and physical pacesetter Luke Schenn may stick with Toronto to start the NHL season, and with that comes added leadership responsibilities for Myers, and the likelihood of WHL checkers testing his composure. Aside from steadying the Rockets backend, how he deals with it all could also be a determining factor in his inclusion on Canada's roster for the World Junior Championships this December. As of now, the first-rounder seems fit for the challenge. Thinking long term, the first professional training camp can do wonders for an 18-year old who's still finding his physical comfort zone. Don't expect him to challenge anyone when he arrives in Buffalo in a few weeks, but do keep an eye on the corners and in front of the net as the initial awe wears off and the development cycle revs up.
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