Peter Holland already had one microphone in front of his face Sunday when another “reporter” (actually, a young teammate) sidled up for an interview and stuck his own version of a microphone — a hockey stick — in plain view of the 18-year-old forward.
On the ice, it’s been the same story for Holland (first round) and 18-year-old defenseman Matt Clark (second round), the only two training campers who became Ducks in the 2009 entry draft. Each player seems physically and emotionally mature for his age, and neither has tripped over himself while wearing the same uniform as the NHLers so far.
The 15th overall pick in the draft, Holland expects to report back to the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League when his time in camp is up. Holland hasn’t embarrassed himself, but neither has he distinguished himself enough through two days to make anyone think otherwise.
Wisely, he’s treating his time in Anaheim as a learning experience. What’s the first thing he picked up?
“Just how (the players) create space for themselves,” Holland said. “Guys are on you so fast, everyone knows where to be and how to defensively hold you down. Watching them play and understanding how to get open, how to get body position on guys, is definitely beneficial for me.”
Both Holland and Clark played in the Ducks’ three rookie games against the San Jose Sharks last week. Neither scored a goal but for Clark, a smooth-skating defenseman, that wasn’t necessarily the objective. The 37th overall pick in the draft didn’t even expect to get invited to the main camp.
“I didn’t expect to get it, but it’s a nice little bonus for me,” he said.
Clark, a right-handed shot, skated alongside left-hander Brett Festerling in Monday’s scrimmage. Holland centered a line with left wing Bobby Ryan and right wing Troy Bodie.