Who knew that fans would see two dynamic Hyphenated Ones? It wasn't just the people's choice, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who tied the scrimmage with 3-1/2 minutes left with a brilliant spin-a-rama backhand, then won it with a bullet 20-footer with 20 seconds left as the Whites rallied for a 5-4 victory over the Reds on Saturday in the first of two Canadian junior team summer development camp games. The Edmonton Oilers' first overall pick in the NHL entry draft in June had a quiet game until the clock was ticking down. Then he delighted the pro-Oilers crowd of 6,391 at Rexall Place with some magic on two of his last three shifts. But big Devante Smith-Pelly, who played with equal parts commotion and emotion, was the revelation. He played the first 40 minutes with Nugent-Hopkins and Jaden Schwartz (the possible captain of Canada's world junior team) and hit everything in sight, scored on a dandy roof job and set up Quinton Howden with a power-play goal. "Best player on the ice," said coach Don Hay. "Physically, he went after people ... he was a force and you knew he was on the ice every shift." That's the No. 1 currency for any player trying to make the Canadian world junior team. Get noticed. The Mississauga St. Michael's winger has the kind of rambunctious skill-set that could easily get him a spot on the top two lines, even if he's aiming a little farther down the depth chart. Heck, the Anaheim Ducks, who took him in the second round of the draft in 2010, might want him on their team. They've got gaping holes on their third and fourth lines.
Hyphenated Ones dazzle in Whites-Reds junior game
Edmonton Journal | Aug 7