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Draft picks Stolarz, Hellebuyck check in from NHL camps

July 13, 2012

Connor Hellebuyck of the Odessa Jackalopes is learning a lot at his first NHL prospect camp with the Winnipeg Jets. (photos courtesy of the Philadelphia Flyers and Winnipeg Jets)

Corpus Christi goaltender Anthony Stolarz and Odessa Jackalopes goaltender Connor Hellebuyck are both currently attending their respective teams NHL prospect camps.  Stolarz, who was drafted #45 overall in the 2nd round, is at Philadelphia Flyers camp, while Hellebuyck, who was drafyed #130 overall in the 5th round, is at the Winnipeg Jets camp.

Stolarz is actually writing a blog on the Philadelphia Flyers website that goes it detail, day-by-day, what prospects camp is like.  Here is an example of what Stolarz had to say:

Coming home after the Draft was great. There was a lot of kids from home that were congratulating me. A lot of them are Flyers fans so I was just happy that I was drafted so close to home.
Going into camp, I expected that we were going to be working hard. Today wasn’t too bad. I faced a lot more shots than I expected, but there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve heard a couple stories from kids at other camps that their first day usually is just all skating and you don’t touch any pucks. But instead, I probably got around a thousand shots so there’s nothing wrong with that as a goalie. You just enjoy it.

This wasn’t my first time playing at Skate Zone. I played in the Liberty Bell Games. It was a good experience. I think it was two years ago, just playing with a lot of kids from the local area around here. It was a good experience, good exposure at the time, and it’s definitely nice to be back. Some of my friends actually came down to watch, I saw them in the stands today. My family is coming down towards the end of the week for the scrimmages so it’s going to be nice to catch up with them and see everyone again. I really haven’t been home since Christmas. I came to camp knowing Trevor van Riemsdyk, Chase Hatcher, and John Stevens. I will be rooming with Ian Slater. After this, I’ll probably just get back, wind down, and prepare for tomorrow. I’m really tired. It’s been a long day so far, so I’ll just relax a little bit and hang out with some of the guys.

Yesterday, I was tired after practice and we went back to the hotel. Then, I actually ended up going to see Spiderman last night with Chase Hatcher and John Stevens. The movie was pretty good. It was exciting but you know, I don't want to give away any spoiler alerts. After, we just hung out for a little bit and turned down pretty early last night.

Today, we woke up, went to the rink and had a nice 20 minute quick stretch and then got dressed. I found out I was supposed to be on the ice at 10:30, but then I got switched to the 9:00 session so I just went and got ready. It was a goalie's only practice so it was nice to have some one-on-one time with coach Reese. It was very helpful, he just gave me some tips and pointers and just helping me out along the way. There were a couple shooters out there and Cal Heeter was out there too.

My older brother and one of his best friends came to see me came at camp today which was nice. Some more family should be coming later in the week. Tomorrow is Trial on the Isle. I've heard it's a triathlon type deal with paddle boarding, running, and biking, and that it's just a long, hard day. Some of the guys around camp, they don't know what to expect. They say they've heard there's going to be some Military expert running it but we're just going to have to wait and see tomorrow. It sounds like a fun day. I am up for the challenge and hopefully I'll be good to go.

Read the rest of Stolarz blog here.

Meanwhile, Hellebuyck shared his thoughts about Winnipeg Jets camp in a video seen here.

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