Goalie Check-In at Dev Camp

Gulls Goalies Sharpening Skills at Ducks Development Camp

Jul 3, 2024

By Nick Aguilera/SanDiegoGulls.com 

It might be summer, but the Gulls are starting to flock north. 

The Anaheim Ducks are hosting their annual development camp this week at Great Park Ice & FivePoint Arena in Irvine, and a few familiar faces have made their way onto the ice. Along with the Gulls coaching staff, who spearheaded the on-ice drills during the five-day camp, goaltenders Calle Clang and Tomas Suchanek are in attendance to build on their strong rookie seasons during the mid-offseason checkup. 

"It’s great to see everyone after those two or three months," Suchanek said. "It’s nice to be here and see all the trainers and coaches. It’s really great."

"There’s something about the NHL jersey and the NHL logo being on their chest that [makes you] excited to see it on them," Gulls goaltending coach Jeff Glass added. "Happy for them to be able to come up here and show their stuff in front of management and the coaching staff. You’re secretly cheering for them, but you also want to push them and try to get the best out of them."

Trading rainy Sweden days for sunny SoCal skies, Clang is the elder statesman of the goalie group with 37 American Hockey League games under his belt. Despite the upper hand in experience, Clang is still working to refine his game for whatever comes next. 

"I’m one of the older guys here, so I’m kind off taking the younger guys under my wings and make them feel welcome," Clang said. "We’re a great group of goalies here and we’re trying to work on some small details going into the year here. 

"A lot of things are about consistency. There’s a lot of games. Also, some small details in my game, playing far out, play bigger… Those are some of the things we’re working on right now."

For Suchanek, it’s his second development camp with Anaheim, but his first as a member of the organization. After being a camp invite last season, Suchanek impressed the Ducks brass enough to earn a three-year entry-level contract in the spring following a breakout year with the Gulls.  

With his pro contract secured, Suchanek is finally able to focus on his game without a cloud of uncertainty hovering above him. 

"I would say it’s a little less stressful, you know?" Suchanek said. "Now I’m just here and enjoying it, especially [being back] and I know the people here and I know the guys, so it’s so much easier to go here and smile and enjoy this moment with all the guys. It’s exciting to be here." 

Clang and Suchanek established themselves in the AHL last season, with both posting double-digit wins in their rookie seasons. There may be a couple new faces in the fold come training camp, as the Ducks signed goaltenders Damian Clara and Vyacheslav Buteyets to entry-level contracts this summer, but it’s never too early to get some competitive juices flowing. 

"I think it’s no secret that we have a lot of good goalies," Glass said. "I want the goalies to get to know each other. I want them to develop relationships with each other. They’re going to be teammates and friends, but I think it’s very obvious they’re also competitors. They’re competing against not only the other goalies that are in this organization, but also goalies around the league. Camps like this give you a very good chance to kind of size yourself up against the other goalies." 

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