Both Jimmy Howard and Keith Petruzzelli were invited to the Warren Strelow [U.S.] National Team Goaltending Camp in Plymouth this week, and DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji spoke with both the Wings’ goaltenders and Wings goalie coach Jeff Salajko about their experiences at during the five-day camp:
“I’ve worked for USA Hockey in various camps over the years and this is the first year we’ve added a pro segment, a pro division, ironically enough named Team Howard,” Salajko said. “But we have 10 goalies that have played pro here. Connor Hellebuyck was slated to come out but he went to a camp out in BC last week and just got back. It’s great having Jimmy here, just for these young kids to be able to see him and watch him work and do some of the same drills, to see how he handles himself and for some of these other guys, Charlie Lindgren of Montreal, some of these other guys that are pros, to see how they carry themselves. So it’s great having them and just being able to watch them work for the week.”
Often the hockey camps have all positions but the Warren Strelow camp is different because it’s only goaltenders.
“You’re bringing in the top goalies, not only in junior and college-age and pro but the big part of it that has always been has been the younger kids,” Salajko said. “We’ve got kids here as young as 16, 17, 18, a lot of kids that are draft-eligible next season so it’s great to be out here. We’ve got a lot of scouts out here, Las Vegas is here, Minnesota is here, Carolina is here. There are teams here. We’re represented here this week, just watching these guys, getting an early look at them before they start their season, going into the USHL or whatever college teams.”
Because Petruzzelli attends Quinnipiac University, he cannot take part in the prospect tournament in Traverse City so this was his first chance to meet Howard.
“He seems like a good guy, like to have fun, joking around with the guys in the locker room,” Petruzzelli said. “Obviously he’s a damn good goalie out on the ice, too.”