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Images: Zach Benson, Dalibor Dvorsky and Adam Fantilli impress at their respective camps
The Blue Jackets are delighted to have acquired Adam Fantilli.

After all, the Canadiens were seen as the logical second choice by many experts and scouts… But he eventually slipped to third in the 2023 auction, and it was the Jackets who finally had the luxury of drafting him.

In Columbus, Fantilli knows how to make friends.

He started his development camp with a “Michigan” on the very first day of activities, and didn’t wait long before showing off his skills.

Fantilli still doesn’t know what to expect next season. The idea of making the jump to the pros is on the table, as is that of returning to college to dominate another season in the NCAA.

He will attend the team’s training camp in the fall and a decision will be made thereafter.

But one thing is clear… Fantilli had a head start on the group at the development camp in Columbus. He stole the show with his feints, but also with the quality of his shooting :

The Blue Jackets are starting to have a nice core and honestly, they may become dangerous before too long. They have some good young players and Adam Fantilli is part of the mix.

I’m curious to see if they’ll be able to live up to expectations over the next few years. Because there are going to be a lot of expectations.

Dalibor Dvorsky, the best player at Blues camp

At one point, we wondered if there was a world in which the Habs would use the fifth overall pick of the last draft to select Dalibor Dvorsky.

For some reason, he wasn’t exactly appealing to CH fans… And Dvorsky made it clear to everyone at the Blues’ development camp that he’s one of the best players in the 2023 draft.

The following images are a fine example. He’s interesting to watch because he does everything on the ice. He excels in all three zones, uses his vision to spot his teammates and scores goals with his excellent wrist shot.

I was impressed watching the two “clips” that follow. He wears number 54:

He’s smart on the ice and that’s what I like about his game. He reminds me a bit of Nick Suzuki, in the sense that he knows how to slow the game down when it’s time to do so, and in the sense that he’s responsible on the ice.

Blues fans will have to wait a while to see him in action in the National Hockey League, though. He’ll be returning to Europe this season to continue his development, as Andy Strickland, a journalist assigned to cover the team, mentioned .

Zach Benson and his magic hands

I won’t hide it. I really, really wanted to see Zach Benson drafted fifth overall by the Habs.

He was my favorite of all the prospects still available when Kent Hughes came to the podium to announce his selection. There’s something about the little forward’s game that’s just so appealing…

And I don’t know what it is. It seems that the combination of his magic hands, his sense of play and his ability to get pucks out of his opponents make him a unique player.

I’ll leave you to view the next images before continuing.

No, but… He looks like Houdini on skates.

His ability to create space for himself with his little feints is off the charts and I really think he’s going to be a special player in the NHL. His small stature may worry some people, which is only to be expected…

But today’s NHL is not like it used to be. There are more and more small players because the game has changed in terms of strength and speed.

This time of year, when we see the top prospects shine at their respective camps, is always exciting for me. It allows fans to see their skills and get to know them a little better as players, which isn’t always the case in Europe, in the NCAA or in junior.

Careful there. Just because Dalibor Dvorsky and Zach Benson stood out at their camp doesn’t mean the CH made a mistake in selecting David Reinbacher with its first pick in the last draft. It’s far, far too early to come to such a conclusion.

I think we can all agree on that. In fact, I hope we can all agree on that.

In a row

– The Sens are working hard to trade Alex DeBrincat.

– Logical.

– Nice mentality.

– News from Wimbledon.

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