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Goaltenders Eager to Show Skills at Prospects Camp

Thursday, 07.07.2011 / 5:34 PM / Features
By Anthony Perez
GLENDALE -- The Coyotes opened up their annual Prospect Development Camp on Thursday morning at Polar Ice in Peoria. Twenty-eight players are in camp, including four goaltenders.

Below is a closer look at the netminders:

Mark Visentin

Visentin, a first-round (27th overall) pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, is making his second appearance at prospects camp after a stellar season for the Ontario Hockey League’s Niagara IceDogs in 2010-11.

Mark Visentin. Photo by Norm Hall.
In 46 games, he posted a record of 30-9-6, with a 2.52 goals-against average, a .917 save percentage and four shutouts, earning the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year award. But the native of Waterdown, Ontario says that he’s already moved past last season’s accolades and has his sights set on achieving more goals.

“My focus has turned to the future now and what it brings for me,” Visentin said. “So right now I’m just trying to work as hard as I can to improve my game in as many areas as possible so I can come in and make a good, strong statement here in (training) camp in September.”

Visentin also said that this year’s prospects camp is much less nerve-racking for him because he knows what to expect, yet he’s still bringing the same competitive nature that he carried with him last season in Niagara.

“I’ve come in with the same mental attitude where I need to come out here, outwork and outcompete everyone here,” Visentin said. “Just because I had a good year, a decent year, whatever, it doesn’t mean that I’m better than anyone else here. I need to come in here and deserve that.”

Visentin’s stop in Phoenix is only one in what’s been a hectic summer for the 18-year-old. He attended Team Canada’s goaltending camp a couple of weeks ago as he was selected to  participate in this winter’s World Junior Championship. And in the first week of August he’ll be traveling to Edmonton to take part in the Junior Summer Camp.

“Competition is great for me,” Visentin said. “…It helps me push myself and work that much harder.”

• Click here to read a recent Q & A with Visentin.

Louis Domingue

Domingue, a fifth-round (138th overall) pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, is also making his second appearance at prospects camp. Last season he played in 57 games and posted a record of 37-12-3 with a 2.65 goals-against average, a .898 save percentage and a pair of shutouts to help lead the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to the league semifinals.

Louis Domingue. Photo by Norm Hall.
“We surprised everybody,” Domingue said. “We won many more games than we thought we would. So, we had a great season and going into the semifinals, it was great.”

Domingue says that the experience he gained from last summer’s prospects camp will be a benefit this year.

“It’s always good to have a little experience under your belt,” Domingue said. “You know where you’re going, you know what you’re going to do, and you know the people around (here), so it’s always good. You have to show that you’ve improved.”

The head coach and general manager of the Remparts is none other than goaltending legend Patrick Roy. Domingue says that while Roy doesn’t really do hands-on work with the goaltenders, it never hurts to seek the advice of a Hall of Famer.

“He’s someone that I can look up to and get some tips from,” said Domingue, a native of Mont. St-Hilaire, Quebec. “I have to use him as much as I can.”

Like Visentin, Domingue was invited to attend Team Canada's goaltending camp for the World Junior team and made the roster. He’ll also be in attendance at the Junior Summer Camp in August.

Mike Lee

Lee, a third-round (91st overall) pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, finished his sophomore year at St. Cloud State this past season, appearing in 32 games and notching a record of 12-14-4 with a 2.75 goals-against average, a .910 save percentage and one shutout, which earned him the team’s MVP award.

Mike Lee. Photo by Norm Hall.
While Lee is attending camp, he’s not participating in any of the on-ice activities because of a minor knee injury he sustained this past season.

“I had an injury that happened towards the end of the year last year and it was kind of nagging me,” said Lee, a native of Roseau, Minn. “I had to fix it up here this spring and I've got about three weeks left until I can get back out on the ice, but it’s good to be down here and see everybody.”

Despite not being on the ice for drills, Lee says he still has work to do during this camp.

“I’m doing off-ice workouts,” Lee said. “…I’ve been working with Strength Coach Mike Bahn quite a bit. I just want to get stronger, and my goal right now is to get my strength back and my flexibility, and all the quickness back that I can before I can get back on the ice.”

Jacob De Serres

De Serres is trying to make an impression at this camp on an amateur tryout basis.

Jacob De Serres. Photo by Norm Hall
He is coming off a successful season in which he played in 30 games and posted a record of 27-3-0 with a 2.22 goals-against average, a .916 save percentage and four shutouts for the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He and the Sea Dogs capped their season by beating Kootenay in the Memorial Cup.

While prospects camp is seen as more of an orientation for prospects who are already in the team's system, De Serres is treating it more as a chance to show the organization what he can do.

“I’m just trying to be myself and work hard,” said De Serres, a native of Calgary. “I’d do that either way. I wouldn’t work less hard if I wasn’t trying to earn it (a spot in the organization), but it's still just a different mindset in your head, because you’re thinking you want to be part of this full-time, you don’t just want it to be a one-time experience.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Visentin is wearing red at this year's camp, Domingue is wearing black and De Serres is wearing white.
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