Here we are folks, hockey season is just around the corner as we have turned the page on the calendar to read September. It’s been a long summer of wait since the Montreal Canadiens acquired Jonathan Drouin and signed unrestricted free agent and shot blocking expert Karl Alzner, a summer of anticipation to say the least. Also exciting is the anticipation of having the farm team in their backyard, with the Laval Rockets scheduled to make their debuts at the Place Bell in Laval.
The Canadiens have release the list of 23 players scheduled to attend their Rookie Camp and Rookie Tournament from September 7-13 and we know what this means: Hockey is back in Montreal! And for one prospect, this camp will mean so much more than for anyone else…
A full year, a very long year, after having to sit an entire season due to a life and career threatening virus to his heart, the 22 year-old prospect will be sporting #84 at camp during the tournament and it’s been a long time coming. No one is more excited than Martin Reway himself, as we can attest by his tweet from this past May.
Prior to his illness, the young Slovak was considered one of the Canadiens’ top prospects so this camp will go a long way in determining how much he was affected by his setback and the long layoff. The skills will undeniably still be there, and likely his biggest weapon, which is his speed. But going up against the team’s best young player will give him, and the organization, a better gauge to figure out where he stands today.
It might be too early to put him back on the list of the team’s top prospects, but it shouldn’t take too long to see if he suffered any lag in relation to where he was prior to his virus. One thing we know for sure is that all eyes will be on him.
One name fans won’t see on the Rookie Camp list is the team’s first round pick from the last Draft. After opening the eyes of the hockey world during the last World Junior Summer Challenge when Ryan Poehling finished the tournament with seven points in five games. The reason for it has everything to do with the fact that he is a NCAA player and rules are clear when it comes to US Colleges’ players:
NCAA prospects or current players may attend NHL summer development camps, or prospect camps, but must pay their own way (transportation, lodging, food, etc.) and current players may not miss class to do so.
There is an opportunity, similar to the 48-hour rule (see above), to have an NHL team pay a portion of a player’s stay at development camp on a one-time-per-team basis. The 48-hour period begins when you arrive at the team’s facility and ends exactly 48 hours later. While in attendance the team can supply you with expenses that include travel, hotel, food, equipment, and all costs associated with practice and off-ice training. A player would have to cover all costs after that 48-hour period, including return transportation home. (Source)
However, something tells me that Poehling is a name that Habs’ fans will hear about for many years to come. At the very least, fans can take comfort in the fact that he is getting accustomed to wearing the logo, as a member of the St. Cloud State Huskies.
Here is the Rookie Camp / Tournament Schedule: