June 27, 2012

NHL hopefuls happy to ice earlier plans

Three young Mainers, including two drafted this past weekend, will attend conditioning camps for several days in July.

By Paul Betit pbetit@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Three young Maine hockey players are revising their summer plans following last weekend's National Hockey League entry draft.

click image to enlarge

Brian Dumoulin, who turned pro after helping Boston College win a national title, was traded to Pittsburgh.

2012 Press Herald file

Instead of training on their own, Jon Gillies and Brian Hart, both 18, will spend some time next month at NHL conditioning camps before heading off to college.

Brian Dumoulin, the Biddeford standout who was drafted in 2009 and turned pro after finishing the past season at Boston College, will do his conditioning with the Pittsburgh Penguins instead of with the Carolina Hurricanes, the team that drafted him.

Hart, a forward from Cumberland, was selected in the second round by the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Gillies, a goalie from South Portland, was taken in the third round by the Calgary Flames.

Dumoulin, a 20-year-old defenseman, was traded to the Penguins Friday night on the first day of the draft as part of the deal that sent center Jordan Staal to Carolina.

"I didn't know (the trade) was coming," he said, "but I did have an idea when a player like (Staal) is on the table that something could happen. There's a possibility of a trade and your name could be involved."

Dumoulin, who turned pro after playing three seasons at BC and helping the Eagles win the national championship, will travel to Pittsburgh on July 9.

"I just want to go out there and see where I stack up," he said. "I'm really excited about the opportunity. Pittsburgh is an awesome organization. Carolina is also neat, but I'm looking forward to moving onto Pittsburgh."

Dumoulin's professional career is finally starting, but Gillies, who spent the past two seasons playing for the Indiana Ice in the junior United States Hockey League, and Hart, who spent the last two years playing prep hockey at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, intend to spend the next two or three years playing college hockey.

"My goal is to play in the NHL, and I'm going to stay at Harvard for (at least) a couple of years, but as soon as I'm ready I'm going to go, as long as I'm going to be playing in Tampa," Hart said. "Hopefully, in two or three years I'm going to be ready for the NHL."

Hart, who has been training at the Parisi Speed School at the MHG Centre in Saco, was the 53rd player selected in the draft.

"My goal was to go in the top two rounds," he said. "I had a pretty good idea I would be in that area going in. I wasn't too sure about the team – I've been talking to a lot of teams – but I'm very happy Tampa was the team that took me because my grandparents are actually from Tampa Bay, and it's just going to be a great fit for me."

Hart will attend the Bolts' prospects camp July 2-10 in Tampa.

Gillies, who will attend the Flames' summer camp July 8-13 in Calgary, intends to spend the next two or three seasons playing for Providence College.

"I plan to go to college until (the Flames) tell me I'm ready," he said. "Whenever they tell me I'm ready, I go."

Gillies, who was the 75th pick overall, was the sixth goalie taken in the two-day NHL draft.

"Calgary was one of my best interviews at the combine," Gillies said. Earlier this month, the top 100 prospects from junior leagues throughout the world worked for scouts in Toronto.

"It was a really comfortable (interview). Everyone in that organization is great. They were fun to talk to. It was a nice conversation."

In August, both Hart and Gillies will attend USA Hockey's U-20 national camp Aug. 5-12 in Lake Placid, N.Y.


Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: pbetit@pressherald.com

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH


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