Malinski shines in day two of training camp


The new first line did well in the passing drills that kicked off the second day of training camp. They have moved Riley Tufte up a line with the absence of Nathan MacKinnon to skate with Artturi Lehkonen and Valeri Nichushkin this morning. There were a few moments when coach Jared Bednar would take him aside and give him some tips, but overall he was keeping up. 

Ben Meyers was a standout in the second group of skaters. He could effortlessly move past his defenders to get to the net. He was a standout last year during training camp, but struggled to produce any points with the Colorado Avalanche as their fourth-line center. When the Avs sent him down to the AHL, he exploded offensively and became one of the Colorado Eagles’ best players while on the squad. 

Sam Malinski appeared driven in the second group. During a drill, he absolutely dominated Kurtis MacDermid in the corner. Malinski will play his full season with the Eagles out of Cornell University. Malinski has a two-year contract that will end after the 2024–25 season. His performance during the Calder Cup playoffs was part of the reason that they did not give Ryan Merkley a qualifying offer this offseason. 

One thing I wanted to note is all the fans at training camp. It fatigued both players and fans entering last season’s camp. This season, they have packed the bleachers both days with cheering fans. The players are enjoying it as well. Mikko Rantanen went bar down on a shot and immediately started cheering like he had scored in a game. Jack Ahcan ripped one past goaltender Justus Annunen and pumped his arms to get the crowd louder. 

On the injury front, we saw Ondrej Pavel skate for the first time since before the Rookie Faceoff tournament. He has been dealing with a lower-body injury (LBI) issue as of late. Jean-Luc Foudy (LBI) and Alex Beaucage (shoulder) both had an extended on-ice session with some goalies. The Avalanche listed both as day-to-day and may return shortly. Jason Polin, who suffered an upper-body injury last week, returned to full action today. 

This year just…feels different. The buzz is seeping into the ice. Everyone is excited about the season to start (including myself) and it is palpable. There is much for fans to expect in the stands. The players have also been displaying a lot of smiles. October just cannot come fast enough!

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