In speaking with Nelson Emerson and Mike O’Connell yesterday, it became clear how the Kings use development camp as an opportunity to not only groom their young prospects on and off the ice, but also to acclimate them to the style of hockey and the expectations set by the organization. As Josh Cooper of Puck Daddy noted in a very good article this morning, there are obviously going to be efforts to implement the team’s renowned puck possession game into the habits of young players.
But, obviously, the thrust in developing goaltenders doesn’t really touch on the habits related to maintaining possession. So, how do Bill Ranford and Dusty Imoo (the new Goaltending Development coach who replaced Kim Dillabaugh, who was hired to be the Flyers’ goaltending coach; story coming) work with Alec Dillon, who will play at WHL-Edmonton this season, and camp invites Nick McBride, Jack Flinn and Maximilian Franzreb?
“I think the first thing, I think the position guys are maybe getting in a little bit more of the technical side, whereas my philosophies and Dusty’s, we’re trying to get the attention to detail, the work ethic and the compete,” Ranford said. “That’s what we try to work on first and then we might do a little bit of tweaking but it’ really hard to in a short period of time.”
Bill Ranford, on how goaltenders are coached in development camp:
I mean it kind of really depends on the situation, what drill we’re doing. But we’re constantly, in this environment, we’re constantly coaching. We’re trying to make these kids better. We’re trying to give them tools that add to the tool box. They all sound like clichés, but it’s realistically what we’re trying to do with this group. That’s why it’s a development camp. We’re trying to develop their skills.
Ranford, on whether he’s watching video with the goalies at development camp:
Yeah, we’re taping every day. Obviously the first day we didn’t because we didn’t have video, but today was the first day we sat down and showed them little bits and pieces from their first two days. I think they love to see themselves. It’s like any kid, they love to see themselves on video and that’s what we’re going to continue to do. Not only the video aspect of it, but some of the learning and philosophies we have as far as handling attacks. So, it’s a little bit of everything.
Ranford, on how Alec Dillion has been performing:
Well if you ask him how Day 1 went, he probably knew that I wasn’t happy with him. He’s been much better these last two days and it’s just getting back into what our expectations are. I don’t know how to say it politely, but the detail aspect is very important for me in order to make our goalies better. He’d been under our gun a little bit last year and he came up a little short on Day 1 and he’s been really good the last two days. So that’s exciting for me. It’s a big year for him. He’s going from one league to another, going from the USHL to the Western Hockey League and it’s going to be a big challenge for him. He’s going to get an opportunity to play hopefully a lot of hockey games and we’re looking forward to actually getting our hands on him a little bit more this year. Dusty will be able to go into Edmonton and see him and work with him, so that’s exciting.
Ranford, on what type of goaltender Alec Dillion is:
He’s a big goalie. I haven’t seen him a lot live, just because of my role here. But I think the thing that we’ve recognized about him is he’s got a pretty good compete aspect to his game. He competes hard on pucks. He’s big, but he just has to get stronger. That’s probably the one area that he’s really got to improve on, the conditioning. It kind of goes hand-in-hand his conditioning and strength. Those are the two areas we’ve talked to him about.
-more to come on Dusty Imoo shortly