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BLOG UPDATE (DAY 2 / 8:00 p.m.)

I spoke with Tariq Hammond yesterday about the broken ankle that he suffered 15 months ago that he is technically still recovering from. While he’s good to go on skates and in the weight room, he’s still not cleared for running or jumping and still has some catching up to do strength-wise in his right leg. He told me that if he played any other sport, his career would be over. Fortunately, he plays hockey and is focused on earning significant minutes on the blueline in Binghamton next year in his first professional season.

🎥 @JulieRobenhymer and Tariq Hammond go one-on-one after his first on-ice session at #NJDevCamppic.twitter.com/VROxckfr6z

— Binghamton Devils (@BingDevils) July 10, 2018

I also spoke with Colby Sissons about what he learned in Swift Current’s run to the Memorial Cup and how he can use that as he prepares for his first professional season. He knows he needs to get stronger to be able to battle a little bit better, but still wants to improve his speed and agility so he can effectively use his skillset as an offensive defenseman with a strong first pass and transition game. 

🎥 Colby Sissons had a goal of winning the WHL Championship before the season, and he reached it. #NJDevCamppic.twitter.com/rqZvm8uiRt

— Binghamton Devils (@BingDevils) July 10, 2018

Update: I can confirm that are not the same person 😉

Actually…. 😜

Actually…. 😜 pic.twitter.com/L6MrqV6JDr

— Julie Robenhymer (@JulieRobenhymer) July 11, 2018

BLOG UPDATE (DAY 2 / 5:30 p.m.)

It was a Battle Royale at Prudential Center this afternoon as the Devils prospects were divided into two groups – offense and defense – for a ping pong tournament. Director of Player and Team Development, Aimee Kimball, set the brackets with the more veteran players earning a first round bye. 

Here’s how the day ended

You can read more about the tournament from a player’s perspective in Nathan Bastian’s camp blog  – CLICK HERE  – but from my perspective the best matchups were Team Sweden (Jesper Boqvist/Fabian Zetterlund) vs Team Finland (Eetu Pakkila/Aarne Talvitie), Nathan Bastian/Blake Speers vs Michael McLeod/John Quenneville and Team Beanpot (Reilly Walsh/Jeremy Davies) vs Team QMJHL (Xavier Bernard/Jocktan Chainey).

Zetterlund showed a lot of compete and would get mad at Boqvist and yell at him in Swedish and he’d just stand there and chuckle. Their dynamic was hilarious. Talvitie will make good use out of the ping pong table in the player lounge at Penn State next season. I expect him to come back stronger in this event next year. McLeod and Quenneville were the top seed in the tournament and got beat by Team Ivy League (or Team Max, whichever you prefer) featuring two free agent invitees Max Veronneau (Princeton) and Max Andreev (Cornell) who are headed to the semifinals. That set McLeod and Q up for the battle against Bastian and Speers in the losers bracket for another shot at the championship. Davies and Walsh ran through the entire defense bracket, but Bernard and Chainey got a second chance coming out of the losers bracket and beat them twice to advance. 

A lot of balls and paddles were tossed, but a lot of fun and laughter was had by all. Be sure to follow @BingDevils on social media for all the behind-the-scenes action. The ping pong tournament will conclude on Friday afternoon.