Here are my observations from Allen Americans training camp along with some other miscellaneous items:

Training camp opened with a larger than expected group because of the return of five Allen players that attended the San Jose Barracuda (AHL) camp. There were two goalies, eight defensemen and 12 forwards participating during the first Americans practice session of the season.

Here is the current training camp roster:

Riley Gill
Dayn Belfour

Trevor Ludwig
Aaron Gens
Kevin Young
David Makowski
Eric Roy
Justin Baker
Ayrton Nikkel
Jacob Poe

Casey-Pierro Zabotel
Chad Costello
Tyler Stothers
Greger Hanson
Gary Steffes
Dyson Stevenson
Garrett Clarke
Kyle Follmer
Max Cook
Mike Colavecchia
Mike DiPaolo
Justin Courtnall

– Two additional players (goalie Joel Rumpel &  defenseman Danny Federico) have been assigned to Allen by San Jose but are driving so have not yet arrived.

– It is difficult to make any judgments based on the first day of practice with a combination of new and returning players, adjusting to the drills and first day nerves on the part of some players but it is apparent this team is bigger than last year and also possesses plenty of speed.

– The guys that just returned from a week at the Barracuda training camp seemed to be flying around the rink. They really stood out.

– With nine solid defensemen (counting Frederico) in camp there will be some fierce competition to make the opening day roster. It is also possible one of the defensemen could be traded for a forward.

– Because of injuries in San Jose, Allen will not be getting any forwards assigned until the injured players get back in the Barracuda line up. This will give some forwards in camp with the Americans  the opportunity to make the team and have an expanded role early in the season, especially if no trades are made before opening night.

– Some players to keep an eye on that could impact the Allen roster in a positive way are listed below. Some of these are long shots and unlikely to happen but still worthy of watching:

Vincent Arseneau – had a great camp in San Jose but could be assigned to Allen when injured players get back in the line up.

Chris Crane – sustained a foot injury in the Barracuda training camp that will sideline him for a while but could be assigned to Allen when he recovers.

Tanner Eberle – has had a good camp with the Iowa Wild (AHL) where he went on a tryout. If he is not offered a contract with Iowa he could be back in Allen.

Spencer Asuchak – a great prospect who has had a good camp in St. Louis (NHL) and Chicago (AHL). St. Louis just signed another NHL veteran forward  and is sending several forwards to Chicago. If perchance Chicago wants to send Asuchak to the ECHL the Allen Americans have his rights.

Jack Combs – Combs was in camp on a one way AHL deal with the Hartford Wolf Pack and was recently loaned to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (ECHL). Always a chance Jack finds a way to get back to Allen.

– You may have seen some of the many pictures posted on social media showing the ice being put down at the Allen Event Center (AEC). My understanding is because of scheduling conflicts the Americans will have only one practice on the AEC ice before opening night.

– Good luck to the Allen Americans Ice Angels who leave tomorrow for Mexico for their calendar shoot. Let’s hope they share lots of pictures during their time in Mexico like they did last year.

– Had a question about a player by the name of Mitch Holmberg who showed up on the ECHL transactions as a player suspended by the Allen Americans. Holmberg signed with Allen earlier this summer but then decided to play in Europe (Hungary) this season. Suspending him is merely a way for Allen to retain his rights should he return from Europe before the February 15 deadline to have overseas players on the roster.

DID YOU KNOW: Today is only the second day of training camp for the Allen Americans but the final roster is due in just eight days, on October 14th. However, remember last year four critical players were added to the roster in the week after the final roster was submitted. Justin Baker, Spencer Asuchak, Jack Combs & Greger Hanson.

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