Oct 31, 2013, 11:18 PM EDT
How a first-round NHL draft pick develops varies on an individual case, although it’s common for the majority of those players to find their way back to junior hockey following their first training camps.
More ice time, work on strength and conditioning, and the fact their overall game might not yet be suited to the NHL are just some of the reasons why top prospects often get sent back to the junior ranks at the conclusion of camp.
For those who work their way to the end of NHL training camps and come oh-so-close to earning a roster spot, it can be disappointing to hear they just didn’t make the cut this time around.
There are the exceptions – players like Sean Monahan, the Calgary Flames’ first-round pick, sixth overall in this year’s draft, who has gone well beyond the nine-game look, which burns the first year in his entry-level contract.
The 19-year-old forward is averaging just below a point per game, with six goals in 12 games. (He hasn’t scored in his last four games.)
But there are those who are sent back to junior, and it can provide a different set of adjustments.
Hunter Shinkaruk, the Canucks first-round pick, 24th overall, was dispatched back to the WHL Medicine Hat Tigers. Darnell Nurse, the Edmonton Oilers first-round pick, seventh overall, was sent back to the OHL Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
“At the NHL level, it’s a little bit different. The crowds are a little bit bigger. The players are a little bit bigger and stronger,” Shinkaruk told the Canadian Press.
“It’s a little bit different coming back again to junior, but I feel like I have to continue to work on my skills and make sure I’m ready to make the jump next year.”
Added Nurse, a defenseman: “I’m just going to improve my whole game and see where that takes me.”
- PHT’s 2015 free agent frenzy tracker 20
- NHL, Coyotes deny report that team is moving to Vegas 32
- Report: Richards’ border incident involved oxycodone 61
- Trade: Bieksa headed to California — but it’s Anaheim, not San Jose 25
- Trade: Jackets land Saad, Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago 91
- Hamilton signs six-year deal with Flames 19
- Sharks get Jones from Bruins for first-round pick and unsigned prospect 42
- Hurricanes to buy out Semin 15
- Bruins are talking to teams about Savard, but not Rask 14
- Report: Richards part of police investigation 47
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad, Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (91)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Trade: Flames land Dougie Hamilton for package of picks (75)
- Trade: Busy Bruins send Lucic to Kings (66)