A total of 12 players were cut from the Ducks’ training camp roster today: Nick Bonino, Rob Bordson, Mat Clark, Nicolas Deschamps, Joe DiPenta, Brandon McMillan, Mark Mitera and Kyle Palmieri were assigned to American Hockey League affiliate Syracuse. Emerson Etem (Medicine Hat/WHL), Peter Holland (Guelph/OHL), Devante Smith-Pelly (Mississauga/OHL) and Scott Valentine (Oshawa/OHL) were assigned to their respective junior teams.
None of the assignments were unexpected. DiPenta, who had already signed an AHL contract, was in camp on a pro tryout but not expected to make the NHL team.
Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said he was impressed with the Long Beach native Etem, a first-round draft pick in June and Smith-Pelly, a second-round pick.
“Both of those kids played very well up in the rookie camp,” Carlyle said. “They do what they do. They were players on the puck, they were physical, they showed good speed. Day in, day out they were very professional, and that didn’t change when they came here.
“That’s a real, real positive sign for a young kid transitioning from junior hockey to the pro game. We were not disappointed with what they brought to the table every day.”
Asked specifically about forwards Bonino and Palmieri, Carlyle’s assessment wasn’t as positive.
“I thought Bonino didn’t have a very good camp from the standpoint that he wasn’t on the puck early,” the coach said. “I thought his best day was last night, in the game. That is as hard as he’s played this year … in this training camp. He played the way he needs to play day in and day out. With him, in the faceoff circle, build some strength, be around the puck and show some more tenacity, I think that’s first and foremost for him.
“For Palmieri, I think he would be described as somewhat of a shooter. I don’t know if he scored a goal in training camp or in rookie camp. [Palmieri scored an empty-net goal in the rookie tournament finale against Vancouver.] He’s a guy that’s going to have to learn the pro game a bit more, get inside, get closer to that net, and use his shot. He’s an extremely strong player … strong on puck.”
Igor Bobkov, who was only recently cleared to play junior hockey in North America, survived the first round of cuts. But Carlyle said the 19-year-old goalie isn’t in Anaheim to see game action.
“He’s here to get acquainted a little bit more with the North American style of practice with our team a little bit, with his goalie coach Pete Peeters. We’ll see where that takes him.”