Things I have learned this summer:
1. I am extremely out of shape, and have never been so slow.
2. Prospective AHLers seem better than they have ever been, regardless of my no longer being able to stop a two-on-one, save for those I know were out of pure luck or basic positioning.
I hadn't taken to the ice with professionals in a couple of years, just spending one or two Sundays a month teaching local minor-league kids (at the Atom, Pee-wee and Bantam levels) the basics of goaltending, not donning the equipment myself save for skates, gloves and stick.
Among the forwards who scored multiple goals on what was essentially an easier target than a piece of cardboard, Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau (currently going for Gabryel Boudreau while playing in the U.S.), a former San Jose Sharks draft pick (49th overall in 2013) who scored an invite to the Nashville Predators' rookie camp next week, was pretty impressive.
Coming off a 75-point season (in 60 games) in the LHJMQ prior to a two-game stint in the AHL playoffs with the San Jose Barracuda, the diminutive winger (5'10'', maybe 180 pounds) seemed to always end up where the puck was going, the exact definition of one of Wayne Gretzky's most famous quotes.
Despite having said in the past that he didn't want to play in the ECHL, he seemed to view it as a better alternative than moving to Europe this season when I chit-chatted with him yesterday, though he's focused on making the Milwaukee Admirals' opening night roster, which I obviously think he has a reasonable chance of doing.
Here are two identical cards he signed (in blue sharpie with his uniform number, 13, tagged at the end) from his days with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar: