The Detroit Red Wings concluded their annual development camp on Sunday, ending a week of on-ice drills and scrimmages as well as off-ice workout sessions. Hockeytown Blog took the time to talk with Swedish forward prospect Jesper Samuelsson on Friday after the on-ice workout session. Here’s what Detroit’s 2008 seventh round pick (211th overall) had to say:
Question: You’ve played for the same team as Jonathan Ericsson (Hasten) and now play for the same team that Henrik Zetterberg did (Timra). What’s it like? Do they talk about those guys very much?
Samuelsson: “Yeah, in Timra they talk about Zetterberg. He’s like a big role model for all of those young guys.”
Q: Do you feel more pressure because you’re coming from teams that these Red Wings players have come from?
Samuelsson: “No. I’ve seen how much time Jon has put down in the training hall so it helps me in that way to see how much you must train hard all the time and think about what you’re doing.”
Q: Is it encouraging to know that someone came from Hasten and is now playing in the NHL?
Samuelsson: “It’s good to know that he came from such a small town and played here (Detroit).”
Q: Is this your first or second year at camp?
Samuelsson: “No, I was here last year.”
Q: Does it help kind of knowing what to expect?
Samuelsson: “Yeah, it’s not so exciting as it was the first time.”
Q: What things are you trying to work on this camp?
Samuelsson: “All of the stuff because I haven’t been on the ice like for a month and then I have all new gear and stuff so it’s getting there, much better every day so just work hard.”
Q: What do you hope to work on this next season?
Samuelsson: “I hope to improve all of the stuff and take a spot on the team so I can play all of the season. Last year, I was scratched a few games and then played with the farm team so next year I hope I play all of the season.”
Q: Is there something you particularly want to work on like your skating, shooting, or stickwork?
Samuelsson: “Shooting. You can improve all of those stuff in your game and you have to if you want to play in the NHL and want to work hard.”
Q: What’s it like being in the locker room that Ericsson and Zetterberg and other great Swedish players have been in?
Samuelsson: “It’s huge. Back home, they don’t know how huge it is to come over here to see the locker room with all of those great guys.”
Q: There are only two Swedes here at the camp. Is that unusual?
Samuelsson: “No, last year there were two – it was me and Danny Larsson who played for Grand Rapids.”
Q: How has it been hanging out with the guys socially?
Samuelsson: “We went to theater to watch a movie two nights ago. It’s like eating dinner with all of those guys and talk about how it is over here and where they play. It’s good.”
Q: Is it nice to just get a break from hockey because it’s all day?
Samuelsson: “I love to be here at the rink so it’s not bad.”
- DRW.com posted a camp notebook piece, highlighting Samuelsson’s connection to current Red Wings players, on Friday. In addition, we looked at how 2007 first round pick Brendan Smith is developing (including a Q&A with the prospect) and the goalie logjam situation.
- Once again, George Malik at Snapshots has a great roundup of Day Four of camp.
- Despite being a 2008 draft pick, Julien Cayer attended his first development camp this year as the Detroit Free Press reports.
- Tomas Tatar, Detroit’s second overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, hopes to play in the OHL next season for the Kitchener Rangers.
- The NHL believes that restricted free agent Jiri Hudler remains contractually obligated to the Red Wings since he filed for arbitration. Hudler had signed a two-year deal with Dynamo Moscow in the KHL last week. The move by the NHL ties the Red Wings hands because they now have to wait for the IIHF to make a decision. If they were to go out and sign a free agent and then found out Hudler had to play in the NHL, they’d be over the cap.
- According to the Columbus Post-Dispatch, the Blue Jackets view forward Rick Nash as their Steve Yzerman, which played a role in Nash inking a long-term contract extension with the team. The same media outlet believes that the Wings no longer hold a stranglehold on the Central Division.
- Reports say that the next Winter Classic will take place at Fenway Park between the hometown Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers or Washington Capitals. The announcement will be made on Wednesday in a press conference at Fenway.