O the excitment of your first NHL rookie/prospect camp, stomach turning, knees wobbling, just wondering how you are going to do. Hopefully you skate out there on the crystal laid ice, looking like you belong and not thinking the other bad thought of stumbling out the gate and looking down face first to the ice and hoping no one is watching just yet!
Well as the Toronto Maple Leafs held their first day of their camp we were able to get a first look at a couple of young guns who will be noticed in the near future if not already through out the OHL and NHL.
The Rupert twins, that’s Matt and Ryan hailing from Grand Bend, Ontario the boys grew up playing together and have become in-seperable both on and off the ice over the years but they do realize that day may come to an end but until it does they will continue to play hockey together either in Junior with the London Knights or in training camps with the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs, their favorite team growing up.
As one of them said (I’ve given up trying to figure which is which, honestly) that this is a dream come true to suit up for the Blue and White even if it is only rookie camp. It is also nice to have a couple of familiar faces in the line up besides your brother of course, that being teammates in London, Greg McKegg and Brett Welychka who both were attending the camp.
But the attention seemed to be on the twins for this first day as their reputation does follow them. Both excellent puck handlers and skaters but what draws them away from others is their ‘sand paper’ playing style. Never one to back down both boys will drop the mitts if needed but then both will lay their body down in front of a blistering slap shot. All in all both these players have what it takes to move up in the next year or so but until then they will be under the watchful eyes of the Hunter brothers in London, another set of brothers who know something about being a ‘sand paper’ type player. Rupert boys just listen and learn from them!
By Warren Nye, UltimateHockeySource.com
July 4th, 2012