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Colorado Avalanche's 2014 development camp gets underway

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On Tuesday, the Colorado Avalanche kicked off their four-day development camp. Unlike similar camps of other NHL teams, the one host by the Avs features no on-ice activities.

Instead, the camp is used to introduce prospects to the organization, and teach them about what they need to do away from the rink to be successful.

"It's a little bit different," said 2014 first round pick Conner Bleackley. "They keep the schedule kind of secret, but they've got a lot of fun activities planned it looks like, so it's exciting."

The prospects learn about nutrition, proper workout techniques, financial management strategies and even how to deal with the media. The camp also gives prospective future teammates a chance to bond.

"Hopefully, we can all be teammates one day. We know not all of us are going to play for the Avs, but it's good," said Bleackley.

The Avalanche also host a rookie training camp, which will begin on Sept. 8; and precede regular training camp.

The development camp roster features all seven of Colorado’s selections in the 2014 NHL Entry draft, six members of the team’s 2013 NHL Entry Draft class (with Nathan MacKinnon being the only player not in attendance), one player selected in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, five players that the Avalanche signed as free agents and five players that aren’t affiliated with the Avs but received invitations to camp.

Here is a look at all of the players attending this week’s development camp, and potentially a look into the future of the Colorado Avalanche:

Chris Bigras

Pos: D Age: 19 Ht: 6-1 Wt: 194 Acquired: 2013 Second round selection (32nd overall)

2013-2014 stats: Team: Owen Sound Attack (OHL) GP: 55 G: 4 A: 22 P: 26 PIM: 46 +/-: -11

This is Bigras’ second development camp. He impressed during last year’s training camp, earning an entry-level contract and almost earning a spot on the roster. While his stats dipped offensively last season, he was selected as his league’s top defensive defenseman by OHL coaches.

Conner Bleackley

Pos: C Age: 18 Ht: 6-0 Wt: 192 Acquired: 2014 First round selection (23rd overall)

2013-2014 stats: Team Red Deer Rebels (WHL) GP: 71 G: 29 A: 39 P: 68 PIM: 48 +/-: +3

The team’s first round selection from the recently-concluded draft, Bleackley is a hard-working two-way center. He is known for his strong work ethic, and was the captain of the Rebels last season.

Troy Bourke

Pos; C/LW Age: 20 Ht: 5-11 Wt: 176 Acquired: 2012 Third round selection (72nd overall)

2013-2014 stats: Team: Prince George Cougars (WHL) GP: 69 G: 29 A: 56 P: 85 PIM: 62 +/-: -4

A diminutive forward, Bourke does not shy away from physical play. He is an adept playmaker; and did not look out of place in a 15-game stint with the Lake Erie Monsters late last season, butting up seven points.

Will Butcher

Pos: D Age: 19 Ht: 5-10 Wt: 201 Acquired: 2013 Fifth round selection (123rd overall)

2013-2014 stats: Team: University of Denver (NCAA) GP: 38 G: 8 A: 8 P: 16 PIM: 8 +/-: -3

Playing regularly nearby for the DU Pioneers, Butcher does not have to travel far for camp. Known for his booming shot, he impressed last year at the World Junior Championships, scoring five points in five games. He figures to return to the competition this upcoming captain, and very well may serve as captain for the United States.

Cody Corbett

Pos: D Age: 20 Ht: 6-1 Wt: 194 Acquired: Signed as a free agent

2013-2014 stats: Team: Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) GP: 65 G: 17 A: 44 P: 61 PIM: 37 +/-: 19

Undrafted, Corbett signed as a free agent with the Avalanche last spring. He then proceeded to lead the Oil Kings to a Memorial Cup championship. Scoring six points in five games, he was named to the Memorial Cup All-Star Team.

Dennis Everberg

Pos: C/LW Age: 22 Ht: 6-4 Wt: 209 Acquired: Signed as a free agent

2013-2014 stats: Team: Rögle (Allsvenskan) GP: 47 G: 17 A: 17 P: 34 PIM: 30 +/-: -2

Signed after last season, Everberg is a big-bodied power forward. He has skill, but plays with an intensity rarely seen from Swedes. He played well in Sweden’s second division last season.

Mason Geertsen

Pos: D Age: 19 Ht: 6-4 Wt: 212 Acquired: 2013 Fourth round selection (93rd overall)

2013-2014 stats: Team: Vancouver Giants (WHL) GP: 66 G: 4 A: 19 P: 23 PIM: 126 +/-: -5

Geertsen projects as a tough, truculent depth defenseman. While his penchant is definitely for the rough stuff (11 fighting majors last season), he did show some offensive ability as well last year. It will be interesting to see how he responds to a bigger role with the Giants next season.

Samuel Henley

Pos: LW Age: 21 Ht: 6-4 Wt: 196 Acquired: Signed as a free agent

2013-2014 stats: Team: Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL) GP: 51 G: 30 A: 39 P: 69 PIM: 42 +/-: 33

Signed as free agent by the Avs after last season, Henley captained the Foreurs to the QMJHL championship. He is a solid two-way forward with a good shot.

Max Iafrate

Pos: D Age: 20 Ht: 6-2 Wt: 218 Acquired: Camp invite

2013-2014 stats: Team: Kitchener Rangers (OHL) GP: 57 G: 8 A: 22 P: 30 PIM: 124 +/-: -22

A teammate of Avs prospect Nick Magyar, Iafrate also played one game with the Lake Eire Monsters after his junior season finished, registering two penalty minutes. He is the son of 4-time NHL All-Star Al Iafrate.

Anton Lindholm

Pos: D Age: 19 Ht: 6-0 Wt: 192 Acquired: 2014 Fifth round selection (144th overall)

2013-2014 stats: Team: Skellefteå J20 (SuperElit) GP: 39 G: 1 A: 5 P: 6 PIM: 34 +/-: 3

A responsible defenseman with a high compete level, Lindholm also saw time with the Skellefteå Sr. level club; capturing the SHL championship with three points in 14 games.

Nick Magyar

Pos: C/RW Age: 18 Ht: 6-2 Wt: 192 Acquired: 2014 Fourth round selection (93rd overall)

2013-2014 stats: Team: Kitchener Rangers (OHL) GP: 66 G: 20 A: 26 P: 46 PIM: 20 +/-: -18

A raw talent, Magyar plays well in all three zones. He is effective on the forecheck, likes to cycle the puck down low and to play physical.

Spencer Martin

Pos: G Age: 19 Ht: 6-3 Wt: 198 Acquired: 2013 Third round selection (63rd overall)

2013-2014 stats: Team: Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) GP: 64 W: 24 L: 33 T: 5 GAA: 3.54 SV%: .899 SO: 3

A big-framed goalie, Martin struggled last season. He is quick and agile for his size, but needs to work on his positioning and rebound control.

Julien Nantel

Pos: LW Age: 17 Ht: 6-0 Wt: 192 Acquired: 2014 seventh round selection (204th overall)

2013-2014 stats: Team: Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL) GP: 68 G: 14 A: 20 P: 34 PIM: 18 +/-: 2

Nobody slipped further in the draft than Nantel. Talented, responsible defensively and with speed to burn, he may be a steal if he can show up on a consistent basis.

Maximilian Pajpach

Pos: G Age: 18 Ht: 6-1 Wt: 207 Acquired: 2014 sixth round selection (174th overall)

2013-2014 stats: Team: Team Slovakia U18 (Slovakia2) GP: 14 GAA: 4.32 SV%: .867

Pajpach was cursed playing for bad teams last season, facing a heavy load of quality shots. The ninth-ranked European Goaltender in the draft has great lateral movement.

Alexis Pépin

Pos: LW Age: 18 Ht: 6-2 Wt: 218 Acquired: 2014 fourth round selection (114th overall)

2013-2014 stats: Team: Charlottetown Islanders/Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL) GP: 60 G: 17 A: 17 P: 34 PIM: 69 +/- : -1

Pepin is a hulking man (weighing as much as 238 according to some reports). He fits, he fights, he protects the puck well; but he also has a deceptively good shot.

Reid Petryk

Pos: C Age: 21 Ht: 6-2 Wt: 209 Acquired: Camp invite

2013-2014 stats: Team: Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) GP: 62 G: 17 A: 39 P: 56 PIM: 21 +/-: 29

A teammate of Cody Corbett in juniors, Petryk and the Oil Kings captured the Memorial Cup. In the tournament, he had four points in five games. He also played two games with the Lake Erie Monsters following the conclusion of the 2012-2013 junior season, registering two penalty minutes.

Matt Pufahl

Pos: D Age: 20 Ht: 6-3 Wt: 209 Acquired: Camp invite

2013-2014 stats: Team: Everett Silvertips (WHL) GP: 62 G: 15 A: 34 P: 49 PIM: 54 +/-: 6

After serving as captain for the Silvertips, Pufahl played five games for the Lake Erie Monsters, scoring one goal. This fast and skilled defenseman will be heading to Canada’s Acadia University next season.

Borna Rendulic

Pos: RW Age: 22 Ht: 6-3 Wt: 203 Acquired: Signed as a free agent

2013-2014 stats: Team: HPK (SM-Liiga) GP: 57 G: 11 A: 21 P: 32 PIM: 34 +/-: -1

A good finisher, Rendulic is adept at driving the net. He is a little raw and needs to work on his play away from the puck, but the skills and size are there. A native of Croatia, the fact that Joe Sakic’s parents hailed from that country may have been a contributing factor to him signing with the Avalanche.

Michael Schumacher

Pos: LW Age: 20 Ht: 6-5 Wt: 209 Acquired: Camp invite

2013-2014 stats: Team: Lake Erie Monsters (AHL) GP: 45 G: 12 A: 7 P: 19 PIM: 21 +/-: -4

Although technically not an Avalanche prospect, Schumacher split last season between the Lake Erie Monsters and the Denver Cutthroats (both Avs affiliates). He is a smart player, who uses his large frame to create a sold presence in front of the net in the offensive zone. Like Avs legend Peter Forsberg, he hails from Örnsköldsvik, Sweden.

Landon Smith

Pos: F Age: 20 Ht: 5-10 Wt: 181 Acquired: Camp invite

2013-2014 stats: Team: Salmon Arm Silverbacks (BCHL) GP: 58 G: 43 A: 40 P: 83 PIM: 36

A native of Greenwood Village, Colo., Smith had his scholarship offer rescinded by the University of Denver after Jim Montgomery took over as coach. He went on to lead the BCHL in scoring, capturing the Brett Hull Trophy as league MVP. He had an offer to join the University of North Dakota, but wanted to honor his commitment to Salmon Arm. He will play at Quinnipiac University in the fall.

Ben Storm

Pos: D Age: 20 Ht: 6-6 Wt: 214 Acquired: 2013 sixth round selection (153rd overall)

2013-2014 stats: Team: St. Cloud State University (NCAA) GP: 30 G: 0 A: 1 P: 1 PIM: 14 +/-: -7

A stay-at-home d-man, Storm struggled in his first college year. He may need more seasoning but his size and ability to clear people from in front of the net make him an intriguing prospect.

Wilhelm Westlund

Pos: D Age: 19 Ht: 6-0 Wt: 185 Acquired: 2013 seventh round selection (183rd overall)

2013-2014 stats: Team: Färjestad J20 (SuperElit) GP: 34 G: 2 A: 15 P: 17 PIM: 16 +/-: 15

While Westlund has nothing in his game that will blow you away, he has no glaring weaknesses either. He is a smart, responsible two-way defenseman, who has never looked out of place when called up to the Färjestad senior-level club.

Roman Will

Pos: G Age: 22 Ht: 6-1 Wt: 194 Acquired: Signed as a free agent

2013-2014 stats: Team: BK Mlada Boleslav (Czech2) GP: 20 GAA: 1.84 SV%: .928

This is not the Czech-born Will’s first stint in North America. In fact, he was named to the QMJHL’s First All-Star Team during his one season with the Moncton Wildcats. Will has decent size and has positionally sound.

Kyle Wood

Pos: D Age: 18 Ht: 6-3 Wt: 194 Acquired: 2014 third round selection (84th overall)

2013-2014 stats: Team: North Bay Battalion (OHL) GP: 33 G: 2 A: 10 P: 12 PIM: 21 +/-: 15

A stay-at-home defenseman, according to some sites Wood may already be pushing 228 pounds. Still, he could stand to be more physical. He had 10 points in 22 playoff games for the Battalion.

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