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Posted On Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 8:26 AM

By Scott Mayfield -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Scott Mayfield draft blog

Mayfield ready for the moment of truth

Scott Mayfield is a defenseman for the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League. Committed to the University of Denver for the 2011-12 academic season, he also played a part in the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament for Team USA. NHL Central Scouting rated Mayfield No. 24 among North American skaters -- the seventh best defenseman -- at its final meeting in April. This is the last installment of a series of blog posts Mayfield has provided NHL.com leading up to the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minn.

Hello everybody!

This month has been exciting. It started off with the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto. Now it is winding down to St. Paul, Minn., and the NHL Entry Draft.

The combine was a once in a lifetime experience. I got to Toronto on Tuesday afternoon and roomed with Colin Jacobs, who I really enjoyed getting to know.  I had 10 interviews on Wednesday and 12 on Thursday. It was pretty intense, but I felt like all of the interviews went well even though some of the questions teams threw at me were tough. I didn’t have much time to socialize, but I did get to have dinner and hang out with my former teammate,
Matt Mahalak.

I was the first player to go through the whole fitness test. I think I was the only guy on the floor for the first 20 minutes. The bike tests were tough, especially the 30 second (Wingate) sprint! I felt like my results were good. I know I gave it my all and that's what really matters. I got a little sick after the first bike test, but overall I had a great time!

Since the combine, I've been working out for next season. My graduation gift was a new mountain bike that I am excited to ride out at Denver. I have been hanging out with my family and friends a lot. My brother, Patrick, got in town from the Air Force Academy the other night so it has been great to see him. I have also been skating a lot more in a junior-age summer league. It’s great to get back on the ice with my buddies. I've also been doing quite a few interviews and I really appreciate the interest.

I'm now counting down the days till the draft. I'm anxious, excited, and a little nervous. I'm looking forward to seeing how the draft works and the atmosphere around the whole thing. My whole family will be up there, along with a couple of former coaches and some family friends. Obviously, I'd like to go in the first round but what number you're drafted isn't really that important -- it's what you do after the draft that counts. You have to do your best to justify a team's confidence in using a pick on you.

It should be a really good time, and I'm honored to be a part of it.

This concludes my blogs leading up to the draft. I thank the NHL for asking me to share my thoughts during the season, and I hope you have enjoyed reading my comments.

Follow Scott Mayfield on Twitter at: @scottmayfield2
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.04.2011 / 9:00 AM

By Scott Mayfield -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Scott Mayfield draft blog

Mayfield dishes on season, draft rating and Combine

Scott Mayfield Youngstown Phantoms USHL
Scott Mayfield is a defenseman for the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League. Committed to the University of Denver for the 2011-12 academic season, he also played a part in the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament for Team USA. NHL Central Scouting rated Mayfield No. 24 among North American skaters -- the seventh best defenseman -- at its final meeting in April. Mayfield, who participated in the 2010 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp fueled by G Series in August, has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the NHL Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minn.

Hello everyone!

April was a tough month for my team, the Youngstown Phantoms. Although we won our last two games, we missed the playoffs by two points.  It was really tough to be so close in the end after a long season. You can't help but think about certain games that we could have won except for a strange bounce or a missed goal.  Every game, and every point earned, is important, even in a 60-game season.

I spent the days after our last game packing and saying good-bye to my coaches, teammates, and friends in Youngstown. I spent most of the last two years there, and I'll always be thankful to the Phantoms organization, my coaches, my teammates, friends, and especially my billet parents, Gail and Jim Ridge, for making me feel at home and adjust to my new life.

It's nice to be back with my family and friends in St. Louis. I miss playing hockey every day, but I am getting on the ice and am helping my former youth and high school coach, Dave Garth, coach a spring team.

I was happy to be ranked 24th in the NHL Central Scouting's final rankings for North American skaters.  It's still a little hard for me to believe all that has happened in the last two years, and that I'm being considered for the NHL draft. There are so many great players on that list, and it motivates me to work as hard as I can to justify being listed with them.

I was also recently invited to the NHL Combine. I feel the Combine will be a ton of fun and a great experience. I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the players I was able to play with at the RDO camp and how I compare off the ice to the best players in my draft class.

I will be spending May finishing up my high school courses and training for the Combine. I have a great personal strength coach, Dave Reddy, who helped me reach my weight and strength goals last summer.   We've been working hard on many of the Combine tests. It's tough, but it's also a lot of fun.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and can't wait to write about my experiences at the 2011 NHL Combine next month.
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Posted On Wednesday, 04.06.2011 / 10:00 AM

By Scott Mayfield -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Scott Mayfield draft blog

Scott Mayfield talks playoffs; CSS and Mandi Schwartz

Hi everyone.

March has been a very exciting month, but not as productive as we wanted. We came into the month in a heated race for the last playoff spot in the East Division of the USHL. My team, the Youngstown Phantoms, has really been battling to make playoffs. We are currently in Des Moines, IA. We have a game against Cedar Rapids tonight, then home games against Indiana and Chicago. These will be the biggest games of the season because we are currently down three points for the last playoff spot.

The Phantoms have definitely had a playoff attitude the last month but our record is not even close to what we want. We have lost our last six games and went 2-5-2 in the month of March. We have four games left to redeem ourselves and get us back into the playoffs. I have full confidence that we will make playoffs because when we play our game, we can beat any team in the league. I really want to make the playoffs and not have the season end without achieving our goal. I feel like our coaches are doing everything they can to put us in the best possible position to succeed, and it's now up to the my teammates and I to put forth our best effort to win these games.

I have been trying to keep my mind off the upcoming draft, but it's not easy to do when you know scouts are in the stands watching. I'm excited to see Central Scouting's rankings and Combine participants in the coming days. It was one of my goals to be ranked and be invited to the Combine, and I would be extremely honored if I was. But all of my focus right now is on the last three games of our season.

Focusing and minimizing distraction is something I have been trying to do all year because it is so important when playing hockey. That's one reason I admire Jaden Schwartz, who has somehow been able to keep his focus and play so consistently well during his sister Mandi's illness. Mandi passed away last week. I hope everyone will keep the Schwartz family in their thoughts and prayers.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
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Posted On Wednesday, 03.02.2011 / 9:00 AM

By Scott Mayfield -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Scott Mayfield draft blog

Mayfield enters the stretch run


Scott Mayfield is a defenseman for the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League. Committed to the University of Denver for the 2011-12 academic season, he also played a part in the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament for Team USA. Mayfield, who participated in the 2010 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp fueled by G Series in August, has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the NHL Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minn.

The month of February has been exciting. We are coming down to the end of season and my team, the Youngstown Phantoms, is trying to make the playoffs. We had 11 games this month and went 6-5. We're 5-2 over our last seven games. Last weekend was probably our biggest weekend this season. We had three division games, two against the USNTDP and one against Chicago. We played some of our best hockey all year and swept the weekend, getting all six points! I feel these three wins gave the team a boost of confidence that will carry into the last month of the season.

This last month in Youngstown will be huge! All of our hard work and dedication is coming down to our last 13 games. Right now we are in a playoff spot but we'll have to play our best to keep it. A lot of things can change in a month! Two of our upcoming games are against the Waterloo Blackhawks. They are right behind us in the standings, and our last game with them was a heated battle that we won in overtime.  

The locker room has a playoff attitude that I absolutely love. Everyone is focused on our goal and knows what we need to do. I think our fans are also getting excited. Last Friday and Saturday night, we had two of our largest and most enthusiastic crowds of the season. That really helps, and my team really appreciates the support.

Earlier this month, the USHL picked its conference all-star teams. I was very happy to be selected along with my teammate, Cody Strang, for the Eastern Conference roster. The selection feels a little strange, because there isn't an actual All-Star game this year. I'm a little disappointed about that because I had some other friends that were selected and thought it would be fun to see all them and play together. On the other hand, I'm glad I don't have to miss time with my team.

It's nice to be recognized and have personal success, but all that really matters to me is what the team is doing and how we are pushing to make playoffs. I am just trying to focus all of my attention on doing everything I can to help my team be the best we possible can.

On another personal note, I want to congratulate the St. Louis AAA Blues U-18 team for winning the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League, and the Webster Groves Skatesmen for reaching the Missouri high school state semifinals. I have a lot of friends on those teams, and the coaches -- Dave Garth (head coach at Webster Groves) and Don Moorhouse (assistant coach for the Blues) -- really helped me when I played in St. Louis.   

Thank you very much for taking your time to read this. Hopefully I'll be looking forward to the playoffs in my next blog at the start of April!

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.02.2011 / 9:43 AM

By Scott Mayfield -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Scott Mayfield draft blog

Mayfield happy to see USHL recognized by NHL Central Scouting

Hello, everyone. January has been a very exciting month.
 
My team, the Youngstown Phantoms, is getting back on track to make the playoffs after a tough slump in December (one win). We went 4-2-3 in January, getting 11 out of a possible 18 points.  This is a huge improvement for the team after coming off two pretty long slumps. Our coaching staff has done a great job maintaining a positive attitude each day. I feel like our practices are always productive and everybody loves coming to the rink. I am really happy with the way the staff has handled our slumps.   

Five of our nine January games went into overtime, and all but two were decided by one goal. They were exciting games, and I think the Youngstown fans are starting to take notice. We had our largest crowd of the season last Friday. Eleven of our next thirteen games are at home, so I'm hoping our fans come out and give us a boost. I'm really excited about the home stretch we have this second half of the season!

Our biggest rival this year has been Muskegon. We've played them six times this year and each game has been close and physically tough. I love the competitive attitude our two teams have when we play each other. January brought two other big wins against two teams battling us for a playoff spot. We beat U-18 USNTDP in a shootout and beat Waterloo in overtime. These two games really gave us a boost of confidence and assurance that we can be a playoff team. I'm happy that we're out of the slump and know that if we keep playing this way, great things will happen for us.

On a more personal note, NHL Central Scouting's mid-term rankings came out in the middle of the month. I was excited to be ranked No. 15 among North American skaters. There are so many great players on the list. To be recognized with them as a draft prospect is a real honor. I was even more happy to see there were 49 USHL players (24 forwards, 17 defenseman, and 8 goalies) listed in the rankings, including three other players from Youngstown -- defenseman Chris Bradley, forward J.T. Stenglein, and goalie Matt O'Connor. This is huge for the league and our team, and it really shows that the USHL is a great league for development. I am glad to be ranked, but also know that these rankings don't mean anything if I don't continue to perform on the ice, work hard, and improve.  You don't play in the NHL based on the rankings or the draft. You still have to earn it, and I need to keep this in mind.  Every day I need to be getting better and working harder.

I'm excited for the upcoming month. I know the Phantoms can take advantage of having so many home games in February and can really make a push to move up in the standings. I'm hoping to finish the season strong and help put my team in the best position possible to go far in playoffs.

Thank you for taking your time to read this! My next blog will be the first Wednesday of March.
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Posted On Wednesday, 01.05.2011 / 9:00 AM

By Scott Mayfield -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Scott Mayfield draft blog

Mayfield optimistic despite tough December

Scott Mayfield is a defenseman for the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League. Committed to the University of Denver for the 2011-12 academic season, he also played a part in the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament for Team USA. Mayfield, who participated in the 2010 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp fueled by G Series in August, has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the NHL Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minn.

December has been a little rough for the team. We opened with a home game against the U18 National Team. I think that was our best games all year as we pulled out a 4-3 win on a late goal by Quinn Smith. I felt this game really gave us the boost of confidence that the whole team needed going into a tough stretch of games against top USHL teams.
 
I was excited to go into the next weekend playing the division leaders, the Green Bay Gamblers. Our first game was extremely close but we couldn’t find a way to win, losing 3-2 on a third-period goal by my Junior Select teammate Austin Czarnik. This game was rough for me because I sustained a separated shoulder during the first shift of the game. The following night I was unable to play, but the boys really battled again. It was hard watching the game from the stands, especially as an empty net goal sealed a 3-1 loss.
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Posted On Wednesday, 12.01.2010 / 9:00 AM

By Scott Mayfield -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Scott Mayfield draft blog

Thoughts on gold medal; MVP honors

Hello, I'm back to tell you about one of the most memorable months in my hockey career. A lot of amazing things happened at the World Junior A Challenge in Penticton, British Columbia, at the start of November.

But first, I want to share a little about my team, the Youngstown Phantoms. The month of November has been a huge rollercoaster for us. We started the month in a slump and couldn’t dig ourselves out until about two weeks ago. The biggest problem was our consistency in bearing down and capitalizing on the chances we had. The team, including me, has had so many chances but has not produced enough from them.  

I believe the answer to this starts in practice, so we've concentrated on increasing our intensity in front of the net during practice in order to carry it over in games. Lately the team really has picked it up. We are on a 3-game win streak with two of those being away games. I felt Chicago was one of the biggest games to win so far because we are so close to them in the standings and they have been playing well.  Personally, the game was a lot of fun because my whole family including my brother, who was home from the Air Force Academy, got to come up and see me play!
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Posted On Wednesday, 11.03.2010 / 9:00 AM

By Scott Mayfield -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Scott Mayfield draft blog

Ponderings and progress in first month

Hi everyone, back again with my second update.

October had a lot of up and downs. My team, the Youngstown Phantoms in the USHL, is currently 4-5-1.  We had a great start but are experiencing a little slump right now.

We spent three of our first four weeks on the road. Youngstown, being the furthest east team in the league, makes traveling a hassle.  In October, we have traveled over 7,000 miles by bus. Our longest trip was to Fargo, North Dakota on October 21.  All this traveling can be rough but roadies with the boys are one of my favorite things about hockey in the USHL.

We played in three home openers and won all three. We beat Des Moines and Lincoln in front of sold out and extremely loud crowds. Lincoln was nuts at the start of the game but quieted down in the first 30 seconds when Ty Loney scored. Lincoln battled till the end though, and we won by only one goal, so the crowd was really into it. In our home opener, we beat the defending USHL champs, the Green Bay Gamblers. We had a big crowd, too, and really appreciated the support. It was great to see a lot of people show up to our game because we usually don't get the same attendance as many other teams.
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Posted On Wednesday, 10.06.2010 / 9:00 AM

By Scott Mayfield -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Scott Mayfield draft blog

Making an introduction

Hi everyone.

My name is Scott Mayfield and I'm a defenseman for the Youngstown Phantoms in the USHL. I'm eligible for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and recently took part in the 2010 NHL Research, Development and Orientation camp. I was asked if I would like to do a blog about the RDO camp, the USHL and my experiences in the upcoming season. I thought I'd start out with a little about myself and the RDO camp.

I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. I started playing hockey with the Webster Wings organization when I was 4. Growing up I played youth hockey with the St. Louis Rockets, the Chesterfield Falcons and the St. Louis Amateur Blues. I also played high school hockey for two years at Webster Groves High School.

Eighteen months ago I had no idea any of this would ever happen. I believed I would play with the Amateur Blues until I graduated from Webster Groves High School this year. A lot of what's happened has been about being in the right place at the right time, starting with my team, the Blues, hosting the Tier I U-16 Nationals. After that, I was drafted by Indiana in the USHL, traded to Youngstown, selected for Team USA for the Ivan Hlinka tournament, and committed to Denver University.
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