OTTERS UPDATE: Abraham working towards OA spot

   May 5, 2013 7:09 am

 

Veteran D Spencer Abraham figures Dane Fox and Jimmy McDowell are locks for two of the Erie Otters’ three overager spots for the 2013-14 OHL season. The departure of D Jack Kuzmyk, who recently informed club officials he has chosen to enroll in school instead of trying to play his final season in major juniors, leaves as Abraham as the only other OA on the current roster.
Yet Abraham doesn’t think he’s a sure thing right now. “I’m going to have to earn my spot,” he said. OAs need to be among the best players on the team. So where doe Abraham feel he fits in?
“I can be a depth guy,” he said, who can serve as a mentor to younger Ds like returnees Justin Felker and Darren Raddysh, soon-to-be signed 2013 second-round pick Jesse Saban and highly-touted 2012 pick Travis Dermott.
“They’re young guys coming into the league,” said Abraham, who heads into his fourth year in the OHL. “It’s a tough league. I can show them the way they need to work and the way they need to act.”
* Taking the next step: Defense prospect Patrick Murphy needed to get thinner, faster and stronger to have a chance to play for the Otters next season. He’s spending the offseason doing just that.
A more streamlined version of the Otters’ fifth-round pick in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection looked impressive during the club’s rookie development camp this weekend at Mercyhurst Ice Center.
“I wasn’t fast enough and too soft in the corners. That’s where I needed to step up to stick around,” said Murphy, who spent brief stints with the club the past two seasons.
* Hitting his mark: First-round pick Dylan Strome tossed a strike Friday night at Jerry Uht Park, when he threw the ceremonial first pitch before the Erie SeaWolves game. Strome wishes he was more accurate with his shots in Saturday’s scrimmages at MIC. He scored in the first scrimmage featuring mainly players with 1996 and 1997 birth years.
Yet he was stopped on a few quality chances in the second scrimmage.
Yet on the plus side, he quickly learned how much of a jump he will face from minor midgets to the OHL. Besides being a faster game, he said, “you’ve got to brace yourself for every hit.”
* A weekend off: C Connor McDavid enjoyed a leisurely weekend at MIC. He didn’t skate because he’s only a week removed from winning a gold medal at the IIHF U18 World Championship in Sochi, Russia. Besides, he’s still savoring the memorable experience, and not because he led all players in the tournament with eight goals and 14 points.
He enjoyed playing some of the best players in the world in that age group. McDavid also appreciated what he saw on the ice at MIC this weekend.
“It looks good out there,” he said. “I’m looking forward to training camp.”
* Getting offensive: C Kyle Pettit developed into a reliable defensive forward for the Otters last season as a 16-year-old rookie. Yet he focused on his offensive game this offseason. He has worked strictly on offense four days a week.
“It’s nice to get an offensive approach to my game,” he said.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in: ,