Dallas Stars prospects hit the ice in Charlottetown

Al MacLeod
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A couple of Dallas Stars’ prospects practice at MacLauchlan Arena in Charlottetown Friday. Guardian photo

Fresh from their tournament in Traverse City, Mich., the Dallas Stars’ prospects hit the ice Friday morning for the first official practice of the club’s training camp in Charlottetown.

An energetic group of 12 young NHL hopefuls participated in a number of puck- handling, passing and shooting drills in a laid-back atmosphere as the group attempted to get their legs under them and get used to their surroundings at the MacLauchlan Arena.

The players were put through their paces by Jeff Pyle, head coach of the Dallas Stars’ American Hockey League affiliate — Texas Stars, and his assistant coach, Jeff Truitt.

Pyle, who is entering his first year of coaching in the AHL, said he was excited to get going with training camp coming off the prospects tournament.

“(The tournament) was a lot of fun, then we come out today after everybody travelling and it was just kind of a laid-back, just have some fun, do a few drills where the guys are just kind of getting their legs back,” Pyle said.

Having never been to the Island before, the city and facilities have made a great first impression on him, the Minneapolis, Minn. native said.

“It’s a beautiful little town. When we flew in, you’re looking at this beautiful little island. It’s so quaint. Everybody is so friendly.  It is really refreshing,” he said.

“The facility is perfect for exactly what we want to do with the camp.”

He is eager to get down to business and help his players prove themselves and reach the next level in their careers, Pyle said.

“There’s a lot at stake for these kids and they’ve gotta take it that way,” he said.

“They’ve gotta do everything they can to make their mark in the Dallas Stars organization.”

One player looking to make his mark is former first-round pick Scott Glennie.

This is the second NHL camp the 20-year-old forward, drafted eighth overall by the Stars in 2009, is attending and he said he feels more comfortable this time around.

“There’s not as many nerves or any of that kind of stuff as there was the first time. You kind of know more of what to expect,” Glennie said.

“I’m definitely expecting more (out of myself). I think for me, you want to try as hard as you can to stick around and make the team. You want to perform your best and show what you can do here.”

The Winnipeg native spent most of last season with Brandon Wheat kings of the Western Hockey League, racking up an impressive 35 goals and 56 assists for 91 points in 70 games before playing four regular season games with the Texas Stars and scoring a goal in six AHL playoff games.

Like Pyle, Glennie had high praise for the city and facilities.

“It’s awesome here,” he said.

“It’s great being here. They treat us great. This should be another good year for us.”

The prospects will be joined by the rest of the team today for the club’s first full practice at the MacLauchlan Arena in both rinks.

The players arrived Friday night and hit the ice this morning at 9:15.

The session is open to the public.

Tickets are also still available for the intra-squad game Sunday at the Charlottetown Civic Centre by visiting the Civic Centre box office in person, by phone or online at $20 plus taxes and service fees.

Puck drop is 6 p.m.

Organizations: Dallas Stars, American Hockey League, NHL Charlottetown Civic Centre Western Hockey League

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Traverse City, Minneapolis, Minn. Winnipeg

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