The Malik Report
Red Wings summer development camp 2014, day 5: Interviewing De Haas/McKee, Turgeon Clarke & Blashill
by George Malik on 07/08/14 at 02:05 PM ET
The Red Wings' prospects wrapped up their summer development camp with a scrimmage on Tuesday, and Team Yzerman took a 5-1 decision over Team Lidstrom, with Mike McKee (1 goal) and James De Haas (1 goal, 1 assist) stealing some of the thunder from a dominant Kyle Baun-Dylan Larkin (2 assists)-Anthony Mantha (1 assist, credited for McKee's goal for some reason) line.
Tyler Bertuzzi was absent due to a charlie horse, and Blake Clarke took a puck to the jaw, but I spoke to Blake afterward.
The Red Wings' general manager was absent, but I was able to snag some post-scrimamge interviews--while the players were busy packing their bags and hustling to a post-scrimmage yoga class.
De Haas and McKee were kind enough to double up for an interview to save a little time and to allow the gents to discuss their surprisingly dominant performances, their lessons learned at the camp on the ice, in the weight room and in terms of nutrition, and their thoughts as to whether they faced an added impetus to turn some heads as they can only attend during the summer:
I headed into the other locker room and checked in with Dominic Turgeon regarding his thoughts at the end of his first pro camp, and Dominic said that the pace of the on-ice activities really gave him a good lesson to learn in terms of what he needs to do to improve his game when he goes back to Portland. He also discussed the strength training, etc. Turgeon was absolutely emphatic that what he'd learned from Blashill was going to stick with him:
Tomas Nosek's English may be halting, but he was kind enough to give me an interview and talk about his lessons learned from the camp, what he feels he needs to improve upon and whether he feels that this has aided his acclimation process. He needed a little help from Richard Nedomlel at one point, but he did pretty well:
I hadn't spoken to Blake Clarke, but I've been really impressed with the Saginaw Spirit forward, so I managed to ask him about the camp and about the prospect, no pun intended, of coming to the prospect tournament (where he will play for the Wings) having embarked upon a fresh start:
And finally, Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill spoke to the press for about seven minutes. Myself, MLive's Brendan Savage and DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose more or less ran the gamut regarding the tournament and its evolving status, his thoughts on the players who participated, the prospect tournament to come, perhaps a few inklings as to which Griffins-to-be impressed him, the new relationship with the Toledo Walleye and his decision to make this such a fast-paced and pro-intense camp:
In terms of other items of note:
Red Wings TV's Dan Mannes chronicled the Wings prospects' cooking class...
Grand Rapids Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill said he could relate to how Larkin has felt since being drafted.
“I can speak firsthand about what it’s like to be a Michigan kid with the Red Wings organization,” said Blashill, a Sault Ste. Marie native. “It’s a cool thing. I was in the Red Wings suite at the draft when the family came up and I could tell they were ecstatic to be in the Red Wings organization. I think lots of people are when you’re drafted by the Detroit Red Wings, but especially someone that grew up in the Detroit area.”
Larkin turned heads as a state and national champion with Belle Tire in his youth hockey days. The 6-foot-1-inch center played on Belle Tire’s Bantam Major AAA team in 2010-11 and had 47 points in 30 games. The next season, he captained the Belle Tire U16 squad, scoring 13 goals in 20 games.
Moving from Detroit to Ann Arbor, Larkin joined the U.S. National Team Development Program in 2012 and has exceled ever since. This past season with the U18 team, he scored 31 goals and added 25 assists in 60 games, standing out on a team made up of America’s best young players.
He’ll stay in Ann Arbor as a member of the Michigan hockey team this upcoming season. While he isn’t sure if the connection the Red Wings have with Michigan schools will help him down the road, he’s just happy that things are set up like a dream.
“When I committed [to UM] I had no idea that this was going to happen,” Larkin said. “I just felt comfortable with the coaching staff and the area. It’s a great program and that’s kind of why I picked it.”
And Octopus Thrower's Peter Fish spoke with big Mike McKee:
After two seasons with the Lincoln Stars, Mike McKee enrolled in Western Michigan University to play for Andy Murray.
In his first season at Western Michigan University, McKee played in twenty-one games and registered one goal, while battling injuries and being moved around between the offense and defense.
McKee talked about playing both offense and defense, “I think I can play either position, I don’t really have a preference. It is wherever they need me to play, I will play.”
Quick update: I'll let you guess who Blashill was talking to:
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.