While most Wilde fans are fixated on top prospects like Matt Boldy and Marco Rossi during training camp, or the continued emergence of Adam Beckman, a lesser known player is flying under the radar.
His name is Brandon Duhaime, and to be honest, he may have a better chance than any young prospect to make the team.
Not only does the 24-year-old winger have a gritty style of play that is well suited to a role at the bottom of the lineup, his 6-foot-1, 205-pound frame allows him to play a heavy game at night and at night. Is. . This may explain why Duhaime has spent most of training camp with Nico Sturm and on a line with Nick Bjugstad.
“You try not to read linemates and things like that,” Duhaime said. “Just go out there, and do your best with the guys I’m playing with.”
But it doesn’t take a genius to realize that Duhaime is playing with some of the guys who are expected to be in the starting lineup against the Anaheim Ducks for the first season on October 15. Thus, it is good for Duhaime that Wilde coach Dean Ivson keeps going back to him at that location.
When asked about Duhaime’s chances of making the team, Ivson replied, “You see people still here, right? We’re making the cut every day.”
In other words, the fact that Duhaime is still around continues his influence on the coaching staff. That was evident in Thursday’s presidential game against the Avalanche in Colorado.
In addition to flying around the ice, and completing every check, Duhaime stood up for Marcus Foligno, dropping gloves with Avalanche defenseman Dennis Gilbert near the crease. The desire to do the latter is a big part of his game.
“It was always something that intrigued,” Duhaime said. “I loved that side of the game when I was growing up. It was really fun to watch. I always felt that when I became a pro it would be something I wanted to bring to the table.”
While Wilde isn’t looking for an enforcer—that role has largely been taken out of the NHL over the past decade—he likes that Duhaime brings a sense of physicality to the lineup.
“You get excited when people bring what they’re going to bring to us,” Evans said. “That’s his game. He has that grit level. He finishes the check. And when it comes to pushing, he can stand up not only for himself, but for his teammates. It really is That was a good sign.”
Not surprisingly, Thursday’s fight affected some of his teammates.
“You can’t stick your toe in and feel things,” said center Ryan Hartman. “You have to come in fully prepared and do whatever you need to do to make a good impression.”
This opportunity has been coming for a long time for Duhaime, who was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. He spent three seasons at Providence College at Providence College, then two seasons with the Iowa Wilds playing under coach Tim Army.
The biggest thing Duhaime learned in Des Moines? How to become a perfect player.
“You can’t be one dimensional,” he said. “You have to bring other elements into it, and the penalty kill is a big part of it. I think my size and my pace can help a little bit on the penalty kill. This past year he’s focused on it and something that I’ve evolved.”
Will this translate to Duhaime getting the team out of training camp? that remains to be seen.
“You want to play in the NHL for the rest of your life and get the team out of camp,” Duhaime said. “It will be really special.”