July 19, 2017
By Jane Horvat '18
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Thirteen former, current and future Notre Dame Fighting Irish players attended National Hockey League prospect development camps over the summer of 2017, including eight current players. The sessions provide NHL teams with an opportunity to see how prospects are developing at the AHL, collegiate, or junior hockey level.
Defenseman Andrew Peeke joined the other Columbus Blue Jacket Prospects at the end of June, having completed his freshman season with the Irish in 2016-17. Peeke was drafted in the second round (34th overall) by the Blue Jackets in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. He was the only defenseman named to the 2017 Hockey East All-Rookie team after posting four goals and 10 assists for 14 points in 40 games. He led Hockey East and finished third in the country with 95 blocked shots.
Cam Morrison, a rising sophomore, has been marked as a building block for the Colorado Avalanche team that plans to rebuild with patience and young talent.
"It's pretty cool to be part of that experience. I'm excited for what lies ahead." Morrison said to Denver Post reporter Mike Chambers.
Morrison was selected in the second round (40th overall) by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. In his rookie season with Notre Dame, he was the fourth-leading goal scorer with 12 goals. During the playoffs, he scored four goals and added three assists for seven points in just six games (three Hockey East Tournament, three NCAA Tournament). Morrison finished the 2016-17 season with 24 points.
Joe Wegwerth spent four days at the end of June on the ice with the other prospects for the Florida Panthers. The Panthers drafted Wegwerth in the fourth round (92nd overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He finished his sophomore season with seven goals and four assists for a total of 11 points.
-- TurbuL3NT2 (@turbuL3NT2) June 28, 2017
Senior forward Jake Evans spent four days at the Montreal Canadiens prospect camp as July began. His 29 assists last season were the second most and he was the third-leading goal scorer with 13 goals, finishing with 42 points.
Dennis Gilbert, who was drafted 91st overall in the third round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, attended Blackhawks prospect camp during the middle of July. Gilbert was named Hockey East's Best Defensive Defenseman following the 2016-17 season after posting 10 goals and 22 assists (32 points).
-- jake vidito (@jdito96) July 11, 2017
The New York Rangers invited junior forward Andrew Oglevie to their development camp at Madison Square Gardens Training Center in June.
Oglevie exploded on the offensive end during his sophomore season, posting 21 goals and 20 assists for a total of 40 points. In the postseason he scored three goals and added three assists in six games. Over the course of the 2016-17 season, the Fighting Irish went 14-3-3 in games where Oglevie notched a goal, and he was named to the 2017 NCAA Northeast Regional All-Tournament Team after scoring the overtime, game-winning goal against UMass Lowell to send the Irish to the Frozen Four.
Junior defenseman Bobby Nardella and junior forward Dylan Malmquist skated with 38 other Pittsburgh Penguins prospects at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex at the end of June. In his rookie season with the Irish, Nardella was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team, and in his 69 game career he has posted 11 goals and 34 assists for 45 points. Malmquist recorded 10 goals and a career-high 14 assists for 24 points during the 2016-17 season.
Two former Irish players turned heads at the prospect camps for their respective NHL teams this June. Having officially signed with the Boston Bruins after the conclusion of his junior season, Anders Bjork is working towards joining the Bruins lineup for the 2017-18 season. With open slots at the wings, Bjork has opportunity in his sights and his skillset garnered attention at the Warrior Ice Arena this July.
"He was obviously noticeable," said Jamie Langenbrunner, the Bruins player development coordinator. "With his skill level, he plays at a pretty high pace. He's a good skater, light on his feet, and made some plays. He can shoot the puck -- scored some nice goals."
-- Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 8, 2017
Thomas DiPauli, a 2016 Notre Dame graduate, reported for camp with the Pittsburgh Penguins after a year of working to return to the ice after a thumb injury and back surgery waylaid his 2016-17 season, limiting him to just two goals in 21 games in the AHL.
"He's a good skater. He competes really, really hard. He has some good hockey sense," Mark Recchi, director of player development for the Penguins, said. "He's a guy who wants it, and he's going to do whatever it takes to get there. I expect big things from him."
DiPauli knows he seems to be an underdog in the competition for a roster spot, but after all that he has been through he has worked hard to get himself to prospect camp this summer and training camp in September.
Three future Fighting Irish players, who have signed NLI's, also attended NHL prospect camps. Nate Clurman (sixth round, 161st overall in 2016) and Nick Leivermann (seventh round, 187th overall in 2017), who were both drafted by the Colorado Avalanche, reported to camp at Family Sports Center at the end of June. Additionally, Graham Slaggert skated with the other prospects for the Detroit Red Wings at Centre Ice Arena in July.
Jane Horvat is a student assistant for Fighting Irish Media. She is an English and romance languages major at the University of Notre Dame. A member of the Glynn Family Honors Program, Horvat will graduate in May of 2018. She writes for the online art database See Art Differently, and her poetry was published in Sixfold.