PORTLAND – Defenseman Brandon Gormley hasn’t looked like a rookie during his first four days at the Portland Pirates’ training camp.
He doesn’t sound like one either.
“You spend some time with him and you see how mature he is, and it really translates to his game,” said Phoenix Coyotes assistant general manager Brad Treliving. “He plays a mature game, sort of composed. There’s no rattle in his game.”
His calm on-ice demeanor, coupled with an outstanding skill set, are why the Coyotes made Gormley the 13th overall pick in the 2010 draft.
“He’s wise beyond his years,” Treliving said. “He’s been through a lot at a young age, and I think he’s got a personality to handle everything.”
When he was 14, Gormley left home in Prince Edward Island to play for a prep program in Saskatchewan.
When he was 16, he skated regular shifts for the Moncton Wildcats in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, which includes players as old as 20.
After he was drafted by the Coyotes, his last two seasons in the QMJHL were punctuated by injuries.
An injury to his right knee forced him to miss 34 games during the 2010-11 season and a broken left foot limited him to 35 regular-season games last season.
While recuperating, Gormley still found a way to improve.
“Looking on the positive side of it, I did get more time to train,” he said. “I did get a lot stronger. I needed to work on that part of my game as well so it was good time off. You got to use your time as best you can and do whatever you can in the certain situation you have in front of you and be positive.”
Gormley, who turns 21 in February, is not sure whether the player lockout has delayed his entry into the NHL.
“It’s tough when you’re coming out of juniors,” he said. “It’s a huge transition to the pro game. It’s tough to say where’d you be. You just go out and do what you can.”
GOALIE CHAD JOHNSON, in his fourth AHL season, has been impressed with the speed of the play during scrimmages.
“It seems a lot faster than normal camps,” said Johnson, who spent the past three seasons with the New York Rangers’ AHL affiliate in Hartford. “There’s a lot of speed, a really quick team out there.”
ROOKIE GOALIE Louis Domingue and defenseman Justin Weller were assigned to the Gwinnett Gladiators, the Pirates’ ECHL affiliate in Georgia.
Last season, Domingue played for the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL and Weller played for the Red Deer Rebels in the junior Western Hockey League.
Their departure leaves 28 players at camp.
ROB LONGLEY, who covers the Toronto Maple Leafs for the Toronto Sun, was at the Portland Ice Arena Wednesday working on a series of articles about AHL training camps.
Previously, Longley had visited the training camps of the Syracuse Crunch in New York, the Worcester Sharks in Massachusetts and the Manchester Monarchs in New Hampshire.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: