Notes from rookie scrimmage.

It was tempting to leave Anaheim Ice on Thursday with a broad set of generalizations, but the Ducks’ rookie scrimmage amounted to a one-hour snapshot of a portion of the organization’s prospect pool.

Twenty-two players have been invited to the six-day camp that began Thursday. All but one was at the rink Thursday morning — a team spokesperson said that goalie Igor Bobkov’s flight into California was delayed. Maybe Bobkov knew something the other 21 didn’t: Of the players on the ice for the intrasquad scrimmage, the goalies had the least fun.

The final score was 9-6, apropos for the 4-on-4 game of river hockey that featured no hitting and plenty of uncoordinated improvisation. John Gibson, the 39th overall pick at last week’s Entry Draft, and Iiro Tarkki, whom the Ducks lured from Finland this summer, absorbed all of the burden.

Tarkki gave up the nine-spot, but faced more shots than Gibson (by my unofficial estimate) and made the more impressive saves. The 6-foot-3 netminder, who turns 26 today, is not ready for the NHL, and the Ducks will be happy if he and Bobkov can upgrade the goaltending picture in Syracuse. Gibson struggled early but seemed to settle down. He’ll have up to four seasons at the University of Michigan to iron out the kinks before he ever plays a game in Anaheim.

Goals were scored by Chris Wagner (4), Emerson Etem (2), Joseph Cramarossa (2), Devante Smith-Pelly (2), Andy Welinski, Tim Heed, Andreas Dahlstrom, Brett Perlini and Radoslav Illo. Rickard Rakell was at the rink but didn’t scrimmage because his equipment hadn’t arrived. Neither did Jake Newton, who is battling illness.

Those are the facts. They can be overestimated. I did longer interviews with Justin Schultz and Rakell, and will save their stories for a later post.

Since it was the only scrimmage that will be open to the public, here’s a few snap judgments:
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Smith-Pelly, Missisauga fall short in Memorial Cup final.

Prospect Devante Smith-Pelly and the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors fell 3-1 to the Saint John Sea Dogs in the Memorial Cup championship game Sunday night.

Smith-Pelly, the Ducks’ second-round draft pick in 2010, was named to the all-tournament team. He scored a pair of goals Friday in the Majors’ 3-1 win over the Kootenay Ice in the semifinals but was held scoreless in the championship game.

Smith-Pelly finished tied for second among all players in the tournament with six points (three goals, three assists) in five games. In 20 postseason games, he led Mississauga with 15 goals and 21 points.

Ducks trim training camp roster by 12.

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.

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Ducks 4, Vancouver 2.

The Ducks went out winners at the Young Stars tournament in Penticton, B.C., topping the Vancouver Canucks’ rookies 4-2.

After two straight losses in which they were outmuscled for net position and looked lost on special teams, the kids turned it around in a major way. A pair of power-play goals, by Rob Bordson and Cam Fowler, staked the Ducks to a 2-0 lead through two periods.

In the third, Vancouver came back to tie the game at 2 against goaltender Timo Pielmeier, who lost the tournament opener Sunday. But center Maxime Macenauer, who spent all of last season with ECHL affiliate Bakersfield, scored the game-winner with less than three minutes to play. Kyle Palmieri’s empty-net goal provided the final score.

The Ducks led in the shot column, 33-18, and Pielmeier needed only 16 saves for the win. Russian goalie Igor Bobkov was on the bench for the first time in the tournament, but the Ducks’ third-round 2009 draft pick did not appear in the game.

Some of the rookie camp participants will take part in the Ducks’ main camp, which begins Saturday in Anaheim.
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Ducks fall 8-4 to Flames’ rookies.

Playing their second game in less than 24 hours, fatigue seemed to catch up to the Ducks’ rookies in an 8-4 loss to the Calgary Flames at the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, British Columbia.

Tied at 3 midway through the second period, the Flames rallied for five straight goals against Anaheim goalie Marco Cousineau, who allowed all eight in his first appearance of the tournament. Forward Jon Rheault, who split last season between the AHL and ECHL, had three goals and an assist for Calgary.

John Kurtz, Jake Newton, Devante Smith-Pelly and Jake Carrick scored for the Ducks, who were outshot 41-22. Calgary had four power-play goals to the Ducks’ two. Cam Fowler and Peter Holland had assists on the goals by Kurtz and Newton, respectively.

“Penalty kill is a hard thing. You have to have special people that are
committed to doing it – guys that are committed to blocking shots all
the time,” Mark Holick, coach of the rookie Ducks, told the team’s website. “We didn’t
jump on loose pucks and we didn’t put enough pressure on their power
play. Your goalie is your best penalty killer and I thought maybe a
couple of those he would like back too.”

The Ducks will play their third and final tournament game Wednesday against the host Vancouver Canucks (4 p.m.), a game that will be streamed live on the Ducks’ website.
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Conditioning camp roster announced.

The Ducks have invited 31 prospects to the team’s annual prospect summer conditioning camp from July 5-11 at Anaheim Ice. The camp will include both on-ice and off-ice workouts, as well as three scrimmages open to the public on Tuesday, July 6, Thursday, July 8 and Saturday, July 10, with each beginning at 6 p.m.

The camp roster includes 2010 draft picks Cam Fowler, Emerson Etem, Devante Smith-Pelly, Tim Heed, Kevin Lind, Chris Wagner and Brett Perlini, as well as many other recent draftees.

According to the official release from the team,

The seven-day camp focuses on both the on- and off-ice development of the organization’s top young prospects. In addition to on-ice scrimmage sessions, each player will participate in strength and conditioning drills that allow coaches and management to closely evaluate the progress of each athlete. Along with daily weight and aerobic training, each player will also receive a personally tailored nutritional recommendation and be tested for strength thresholds, range of movement and aerobic capacity.

The complete roster:
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Ducks Day 2 draft notes.

10:16 a.m.: With their second-round pick, the Ducks take right wing Devante Smith-Pelly, a right wing from Mississauga St. Michael’s (OHL). He is listed at 5-11, 211 pounds.

Smith-Pelly had 29 goals and 62 points in 60 games last season. He was ranked 67th among North American Skaters by Central Scouting in the midterm rankings, and 76th in the final rankings.

For Smith-Pelly, hearing his name called 42nd overall wasn’t necessarily a surprise.

“I wasn’t really sure exactly where I was going to go,” he said. “I came in not expecting to go anywhere, really, just soaking it all in. Then to hear my name called was exciting.”

The 18-year-old compared his game to that of Dustin Brown, the versatile Kings winger who can score, defend and hit with equal ease. Smith-Pelly described himself as “a guy who can excel in a top-6 forward role or a bottom-6 forward role.” This in spite of the fact that he came to the OHL from a team – the Junior Canadiens – “where defense was optional.”

Don’t be surprised if the Ducks ask him to spend some extra time in juniors to hone the defensive side of his game. For as much as Smith-Pelly would like to make the NHL club, the Memorial Cup tournament is coming to Mississauga next year, and his team will have the automatic berth given to the host squad.

12:15 p.m.: The Ducks have acquired the Toronto Maple Leafs’ fifth-round pick (122nd overall) for right wing Mike Brown, and used it to select Christopher Wagner, a right wing for the South Shore Kings of the Eastern Junior Hockey League. Wagner had 34 goals and 83 points in 44 games last season for South Shore.

Anaheim then used its own fifth-round pick (132nd overall) to select Tim Heed, a defenseman from Sweden. Heed was the 30th-ranked European skater by Central Scouting. The 19-year-old had eight goals and 37 points in 32 games last year for Sodertalje of the of the Swedish Elite League.

Neither player is here at Staples Center, but I did ask Brian Burke about Brown. Even though he didn’t trade for Brown – that was one of Bob Murray’s first deals as Ducks GM – he was on the Maple Leafs’ radar. “We’re very pleased,” Burke said.

The 25-year-old Brown set career highs in 2009-10 with 75 games played, six goals, seven points and 106 penalty minutes.

12:45 p.m.: The Ducks have chosen Swedish center Andreas Dahlstrom with the first of their two sixth-round picks, 161st overall. The scouting report, according to Eliteprospects.com

A very shifty player. Dahlstrm has impressive hands and technical
skills and is very creative. Can do the unexpected with the puck at all
times. Hockey sense is good and passing game is impressive. Skating
could maybe use some improvement as well as his finishing ability.
Injuries have also slowed down his development, but he has the potential
to become a high scoring player.

1:05 p.m.: Kevin Lind (Chicago, USHL) becomes the newest Duck with the 177th pick of the draft. Anaheim has one pick left, a seventh-rounder.

Lind fell from the 32nd to 139th on Central Scouting’s list of North American skaters. HockeysFuture.com ranked him as the 10th-best draft prospect in the entire USHL in January. According to the Ducks’ director of amateur scouting, Martin Madden, Lind was hurt by playing on a poor team and pushing back his college entry by a year (he’ll attend Notre Dame after playing next season in the USHL).

1:18 p.m.: The Ducks used their last pick of the draft (192nd overall) on Brett Perlini, a sophomore fowrard from Michigan State. The 20-year-old had seven goals and 12 points in 20 games last season. His father, Fred Perlini, played eight NHL games as a center for the Toronto Maple Leafs.