Arlington, Virginia – Juraj Slavkovsky He spent the day in his Montreal Canadiens uniform, but it was for pretending, not playing.
Slafkovsky was one of 27 players who participated in the NHL Players Association’s rookie show at Medstar Capitals Iceplex on Tuesday.
Players spent their day on and off the ice snapping photos of their official Upper Deck trading cards. They also signed a lot of items related to the commercial card company.
“It’s very difficult to sign that many signatures,” said Slavkowski, the striker who was named with the first selection in the 2022 NHL Draft. “But it’s fun and it comes with that, and it’s nice to meet other guys too and spend time together. Take some pictures and that stuff. So yeah, I loved it.”
Slavkowski, who collected more football cards than hockey cards that originated in Slovakia, said he wasn’t sure how he felt about having his own cards soon.
“It depends on the shape of my face,” he joked.
Taking pictures was the fun part of the day moving forward Matty Pennerswho was selected by the Seattle Kraken with the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, held approx.
“A lot of guys here, we didn’t get a draft, so I think those things are fun because we just couldn’t do it,” Beeners said. “A few other things we did, take your photo drafts, so we were able to do some fun things.”
In the process, Beners also had to spend time with three of his former teammates from the University of Michigan: a defender. Owen Power (Selected by Buffalo Sabers with a #1 pick in the 2021 Draft) and strikers Thomas Bordeleau (Selected by San Jose Sharks with the 38th pick in the 2020 NHL Draft) and Brendan Bryson (Selected by the Vegas Golden Knights with pick number 29 in the 2020 draft.)
“I was with Bryce a little bit this summer internship, but I didn’t see the Boards or Owen, so it was fun to see them here,” Beners said. “You jump right back into it. You haven’t seen them in a while, but you come right back to it, and you’re having fun, just as we’re getting ready for another year (in Michigan), except we’re ‘re all in different places now.'”
There was also some family time for the New Jersey Devils striker Graeme Clark (No. 80 pick in 2019 draft) and Los Angeles Kings defenseman Brandt Clark (No. 8 pick in Project 2021).
With brothers playing on both sides of the US, spending the day together was a rare opportunity.
“It’s really amazing, really special to our family that he and I are succeeding the way we are and being recognized like that,” said Brandt. “It’s really special that he’s here with me.”
Besides photos and signings, the day also included players recording penalty kicks and goal celebrations, and a 3v3 brawl.
It was all part of a relaxed atmosphere that followed on Monday night, when players also had to dine and play at Top Golf.
“This is the [NHLPA] And the Upper Deck event we try to keep is very relaxed,” NHLPA Special Assistant to CEO Matthew Schneider said. Guys aren’t having a really hard time, and I think that’s a little different from day to day the NHL or the clubs they come from. …when you get into the NHL you’ll be here at 12, be here at 1. So I think they’re enjoying that. “
With the pressures of training camp quickly approaching, putting on their uniforms on Tuesday made it all the more realistic.
“It definitely makes me itch a little bit for camp,” said one striker. Shane Wrightwho was selected by Kraken with the No. 4 pick in the 2022 draft. “I’m leaving here in a couple of days for camp in Seattle. … just wearing socks too to match the type of shirt makes it look real because that’s the reality to me, and it’s something wonderful . “