Yale Skaters Showcased At Development Camps
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Yale seniors Ryan Donald (St. Albert, Alb.), Mark Arcobello (Milford, Conn.) and Sean Backman (Cos Cob, Conn.) and juniors Denny Kearney (Hanover, N.H.) and Broc Little (Rindge, N.H.) all took part in National Hockey League Development Camps this summer. Donald was with Vancouver, Kearney and Backman worked out with Washington while Little and Arcobello were with Chicago.
NHL development camps are primarily for their signed players, which could be rookies, new draft picks, top prospects and some of their AHL players. Some also include free agents, like the Yale skaters.
"They give you a feel of what it takes to play in the National Hockey League. It also gives you a chance to play with top players from all over the world. I enjoyed my week in D.C. with fellow Bulldog Denny Kearny," said Backman, who led the Blue in goals the last three seasons and had 20 last winter.
The five Bulldogs who skated at NHL camps were integral parts of Yale's best season ever in 2008-09. Yale won 24 games, a regular-season ECAC title and a conference tournament championship while finishing No. 5 in the pairwise rankings.
The Elis return 18 of 22 lettermen from the championship squad, and these summer endeavors could enhance the upper class talent level at newly renovated Ingalls Rink.
"The camp was extremely competitive and hosted a lot of great players from all over the world. I really got a feel for what the Blackhawks organization was all about," said Arcobello, an All-America pick, after returning from the camp in downtown Chicago. "We were given time to go out on our own and experience the city of Chicago and all the great things that it has to offer. I especially enjoyed how we got the chance to go to a Cubs game, since I had never been to Wrigley. Overall, the camp was an experience that showed me where I am as a player and what it takes to make it to the next level."
"The camp was a great experience," said Kearney, who was with the Capitals in Arlington, Va., after leading the Bulldogs in assists last winter. "It was challenging but also very enjoyable at the same time. It was very valuable to get a small taste of how pro hockey works. I hope to join the professional ranks after graduation."
Donald, Yale's 2009-10 captain and defenseman, skated with the NHL team closest to home, the Vancouver Canucks from July 6-10 both at GM Place and at the University of British Columbia.
"It was a great experience to see what it takes to be successful at the next level. It is nice to be able to compare yourself to other players who are in the same position, and it's good to get some feedback heading into the season so you know what you need to work on," said Donald, who made the 2009 ECAC Hockey All-Tournament Team.
Release filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director