Rookie conditioning camp has ended for the Canes, and the prospects began scattering Sunday.
Forward Erik Karlsson is headed back to Sweden, where he will stay for another year. Later in the summer, forward Phil Di Giuseppe will be headed back to the University of Michigan and goalie Collin Olson to Ohio State. Brock McGinn will be gearing up for another year at Guelph (OHL) under coach Scott Walker.
Of the players in camp, one will be coming back for the Canes' preseason training camp: center Jeremy Welsh. But the others benefitted from their days in town under the tutelage of such people as Pete Friesen and Rod Brind'Amour.
"I don't think people really understand how tough a week this is for them," said the Canes' Ron Francis, who oversees the camp. "People come and watch the one hour on the ice and look for things there. But these kids really start at 7 o'clock in the morning and go 'til 7 or 7:30 at night for four straight days."
Welsh, 24, hopes to make a push for a roster spot and be one of the Canes' centermen this season. He called it an important week for him and wanted to leave a good impression.
Francis' assessment of Welsh's camp?
"It was good. We like all our people to go through it and this was the first time for Jeremy to go through it," Francis said. "What it really gives him is a sense of where our NHL players are at and where he stacks up condition-wise. There are certain areas he can probably improve on. He'll get that information here and now will have times to go work at it.
"Certainly on the ice he looked big and strong and skilled, and that's kind of what we were expecting. So it was a good week for him."
Francis said he didn't like to single out players, in that all were pushing pretty hard and doing their best. But he said a few invariably look better up close and on the ice than anticipated, some nuances missed in video review or scouting.
"But the biggest thing is how they battle and how they compete through the four days," he said. "It's not easy to run the stairs from the floor of the PNC Arena to the rooftop 10 times, then turn around and do a five-mile bike test, then do 16 (100-yard) sprints the next day.
"There are a lot of things in this that are very educational but also very demanding, and you see if they want to keep fighting and battling through or whether they throw their hands up. I thought our guys got through the week really good. They should be pleased they got through the four days and are still smiling and enjoying it."
Karlsson enjoyed his last day on the ice at Raleigh Center Ice. Using his speed and quick release, the Swede scored a couple of goals in a late drill and lifted his arms high to "celebrate."
Francis said Karlsson, a fourth-round draft pick, would honor the final year of his contract with Frolunda of the Swedish League.