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Notes from Day 1 of rookie camp

-- In the previous post from yesterday, I mentioned that there were 24 invitees here. Yesterday, there were only 23 -- defenseman Anton Klementyev was excused to travel back to Russia to attend the funeral for many of his friends who were killed in Wednesday's plane crash. He will return by next week, though.

-- The three goaltenders here this week -- Kevin Poulin, Anders Nilsson and Mikko Koskinen -- are all pretty legitimate prospects. It's doubtful all three will make the cut for training camp, given that the Isles already have three experienced goaltenders jockeying for time once Saturday comes.

Poulin, who had surgery to repair a dislocated kneecap in February, is ready to play without restrictions and will be in the rotation for the rookie games Monday and Tuesday against the Bruins' prospects. Poulin figures to be a lock to join the vets on Saturday.

He told me had to change his offseason workout routine after the surgery to strengthen his hips and glutes and take less pressure off his knees, which may have contributed to this second kneecap dislocation. He felt it went well and didn't alter his playing style.

As for Nilsson, he returned to Sweden after the rookie mini-camp and trained with Lulea, his Swedish squad. He's not too concerned with finding playing time among a crowded goaltending group.

"You just make the most of the time you get and work hard the rest of the time," he said.

-- Ryan Strome said he has no side bets pending with his close friend and Niagara teammate Dougie Hamilton, who was drafted four spots behind Strome, by the Bruins. The two may see a lot of each other Monday and Tuesday, with Strome possibly centering a line with Nino Niederreiter and Tyler McNeely -- the three were together in drills on Saturday.

"I'll text him tomorrow and see what he wants to do," Strome said yesterday of Hamilton.

-- The kids are back on the ice shortly today. We'll have more in a bit.

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