Minutemen Participate In NHL Prospect Camps
July 19, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. - Three current members of the UMass hockey team recently attended NHL prospect camps as rising senior forward Branden Gracel participated in New York Islanders' mini camp last week, while rising senior forward Conor Sheary and rising junior defenseman Oleg Yevenko wrap up their time at New Jersey Devils' rookie camp on Friday.
Gracel was among 26 camp invitees on Long Island last week and took part in a five-day mini camp loaded with off and on-ice workout sessions. In the Orange vs. Blue Rookie Scrimmage at Nassau Coliseum on July 11, Gracel centered the fourth line for the Orange team and wore #18.
Here is a full replay of the Orange & Blue Rookie Scrimmage:
"The Islanders' camp was a great experience for me," said Gracel. "I feel it was a good confidence booster for me to go there and know that I can play at that level. The experience has me extremely excited to head back to UMass and start my senior year."
Sheary and Yevenko opened up Devils rookie camp at AmeriHealth Pavilion on Monday, July 15, with Sheary wearing #68 and Yevenko wearing #61.
The pair participated in several Red vs. White scrimmages throughout the week. Highlights of the Day 2 scrimmage can be seen here:
With 7.7 seconds to go in Thursday's scrimmage, Yevenko fought 6-5, 215-pound Seth Helgeson.
Here's an interview where Helgeson talks about sparring with Yevenko:
The fight was also mentioned by Tom Gulitti on the Fire & Ice blog: Yevenko, Helgeson trying to make an impression at Devils development camp
"I'm excited to be back in the states and be participating in a more competitive type of training environment," said Yevenko. "It's been good to talk to guys from different leagues and colleges. I'm just trying to do my best, show what I'm capable of and what kind of player I am."
In the final scrimmage of the week, Sheary scored for the white team at the 8:02 mark of the opening period during a power play portion of the scrimmage.
"It was a really nice cross-ice pass to me around the dot," Sheary said. "I put it near side before the goalie could slide across."
"Being in a pro atmosphere where everyone is a potential pro player was huge for me. It's been a good opportunity to show my skills and learn from some of the best coaches out there."