The Beckett Blog


Live from the Ice: An Update from the 2010 NHL Rookie Showcase by Tracy Hackler

Editor’s Note: Beckett Hockey correspondent Gus Katsaros, the Pro Scouting Coordinator for McKeen’s Hockey Prospects and a writer for MapleLeafsHotStove.com, is in Toronto today covering the 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto. Look for his updates throughout the day.

The afternoon session at the 2010 NHL Rookie Photo Shoot included a lunch for the players and gathered media (which disseminated fairly quickly after the morning skate). There is a pick-up hockey game that will end the afternoon events before the rookies take the bus back to the host hotel.

A most curious and interesting scenario, however, occurred as the rookies were taking their photos and video rolls. A bunch of young kids were using the ice for a practice. The awe in the eyes of the children as they saw their dreams and aspirations personified walking among them made for a much more spirited effort in training sessions.

Inspiration, it seems, comes from the most unlikely places and surprise times. These kids didn’t expect to see actual drafted NHL players in what was surely just a routine practice. Their surprise and elation will form a deeper root in their commitment.

Lunch intersected the sessions and the ’95-born Toronto Marlboros took to the ice for their own practice. While the interaction wasn’t as extensive as they likely preferred with the potential NHL Rookies, similar to the younger kids, the practice was high energy and focused.

You see, if there is a target for excellence, and positive proof of one day becoming the NHL rookies looking on younger players practicing, seeing the NHL contingent provided an extra bounce in every player’s step.

One has to be committed to even fathom making “The Show.” The commitment in time, practice and patience required walked by the Marlboros as they waited to hit the ice.

If this showcase was strictly about showcasing rookies for Panini America and Upper Deck, this was surely an unexpected, but pleasant effect on about 50 younger players.

— Gus Katsaros

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