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Posted On Friday, 06.22.2012 / 10:15 PM

By Matt Dumba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Matt Dumba draft blog

Dumba excited to be heading to Minnesota


Matt Dumba is a defenseman for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The 5-foot-11.75, 183-pound defenseman was named WHL Rookie of the Year after scoring 15 goals and adding 11 assists in 62 games. He also had a tournament-high 12 points -- all assists -- to help Canada Pacific win the bronze medal at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. This summer, he played for Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and also took part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Dumba has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

PITTSBURGH -- It's been a pretty amazing time in Pittsburgh.

I was up late last night but once I went to bed, I got a real good sleep. We had breakfast with the families, that was fun. That was the first time we saw Gary Bettman. He talked to us for a brief moment, then we had orientation, just listening through that. I had lunch with my family and friends, that was good. Then it was just waiting the next four hours for it to all happen.

Walking the red carpet into the arena, that was awesome. Lots of fun. It was pretty cool to see all the fans on both sides going crazy. People asking for autographs everywhere. It was cool to see.

I tried to chill out and relax when things started, but at the same time anxiety is running through your body about when you're going to be picked where. At the end of the day I was just waiting for my name to be called.

When Minnesota said "Red Deer," that's all I heard. I knew it was me. That was cool. My family was really excited. They were saying just how proud of me they were. Mom was crying, she didn't say anything. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was talking to me and said congratulations. He was excited for me as well.

Going down the stairs, the cameraman told me to slow down because I was going too fast. I was racing to get up to the stage. It was pretty cool.

When I shook hands with the Commissioner, he said "Welcome to the NHL," and I squeezed his hand pretty tight. Sorry, but I was pretty excited.

Pulling on that Wild jersey, it was amazing. You stand on the little "X" and put the jersey on. It was so cool. Just everything, this whole experience has been awesome.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.21.2012 / 5:16 PM

By Matt Dumba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Matt Dumba draft blog

Dumba excited to start NHL journey

Matt Dumba is a defenseman for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The 5-foot-11.75, 183-pound defenseman was named WHL Rookie of the Year after scoring 15 goals and adding 11 assists in 62 games. He also had a tournament-high 12 points -- all assists -- to help Canada Pacific win the bronze medal at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. This summer, he played for Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and also took part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Dumba has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

PITTSBURGH -- I'm glad to finally be in Pittsburgh after the last few days. Tuesday morning I had to take my diploma -- final exams in Canada. It was 60 questions, multiple choice, on social studies and civil liberties. Once I finished the first one I said to myself I got 59 more to go and it just went on from there.

When I was finished I was so relieved. We headed right to the airport from there, and we had a good flight with my family from Calgary to Toronto.

We stayed overnight in Niagara Falls, which was awesome. We went on the Maid of the Mist the next morning and then came down to Pittsburgh on Wednesday afternoon. It's been a whirlwind with my family, but it's been awesome.

Last night it was a good day off. I just hung out at the hotel with the guys. Then this morning I had interviews right from the start of the morning, and then we had lunch on the boat with the media.

People ask if I'm nervous or whatnot, but I think it's anticipation more than nerves. I think I've gotten over the nerves. Now it's just wanting to figure out where I'm going to start my journey to the NHL.

As far as which team picks me, I really haven't put too much thought on that. I've kind of stayed out of that. I'll just let it happen. It's out of my control anyway. Going into Friday, it's just exciting knowing I have this opportunity in front of me and that's it's going to happen. It's only a day away, so it's pretty cool.

Tonight might be tough. I'll probably be hanging out with the boys, just having a good time. I doubt I'll get any sleep. The time change already is giving me some hard times last night, and the anxiety and the anxiousness of everything happening tomorrow, I won't sleep much.

But I'm having fun, and I can't wait for things to start tomorrow.

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 9:00 AM

By Matt Dumba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Matt Dumba draft blog

Dumba's big week includes school, draft

Matt Dumba is a defenseman for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The 5-foot-11.75, 183-pound defenseman was named WHL Rookie of the Year after scoring 15 goals and adding 11 assists in 62 games. He also had a tournament-high 12 points -- all assists -- to help Canada Pacific win the bronze medal at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. This summer, he played for Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and also took part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Dumba has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

The time finally has come. It's exciting right now. Just getting packed up and ready to go to Pittsburgh right now. It's pretty crazy.

The last few days I've been just working out, really. I've done a few interviews with radio stations and newspapers. People are getting pretty excited at home here in Calgary, especially friends and family.

I'm actually studying right now. My last day of final exams is Tuesday, and then I fly out to Toronto with the family and then we'll make our way down to Pittsburgh. It's pretty crazy, knowing it's my last day of high school and then the draft. Everything's coming pretty quick now.

I have a pretty nice-size group coming to Pittsburgh -- my mom, my dad, my little brother. I have some aunts and uncles coming, my trainer. And I have some buddies coming, and their mom is coming, too.

My mom is just kind of trying to organize all the family stuff, make sure we're getting in on time. She's working on that stuff. That's the stress she's going through. My dad is just along for the ride. He's kept me pretty calm, kept the whole family relatively balanced.

My stress level is pretty low at this point. I've come to the point where I know really everything is out of my hands. I've done everything I can do. Now it's just time to let the cards fall where they may. I'm just really relaxed and enjoying this time with my friends. They're all excited for me. I'm excited to find out on Friday.

People keep asking me if I have any idea what teams are interested in me, and to tell you the truth, no, not really. As far as that goes, I don't really know at all. All the teams in that area where I'm ranked haven't really said anything. They're keeping their cards held tight. I'm excited to find out on Friday.

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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 3:08 PM

By Matt Dumba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Matt Dumba draft blog

Dumba battled through interviews, testing

Matt Dumba is a defenseman for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The 5-foot-11.75, 183-pound defenseman was named WHL Rookie of the Year after scoring 15 goals and adding 11 assists in 62 games. He also had a tournament-high 12 points -- all assists -- to help Canada Pacific win the bronze medal at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. This summer, he played for Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and also took part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Dumba has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

When I first arrived in Toronto for the Scouting Combine, I was real nervous. Everything that I heard from everyone, I was pretty scared about the interviews. I didn't know what they were going to ask. But after the first couple I got some confidence, and I thought they really went well. I'm a pretty good speaker, so they just went smooth for me.

I had 19 interviews altogether, but I remember starting the first and being real nervous. As I went on, though, it got better and better and I got more relaxed and more confident as I went through.

I didn't get any strange questions -- nothing at all. Everyone else said they had something, but not me.

The fitness testing was a totally different experience. I looked in the testing room and I'd never seen something like that before. I had kind of heard stories and everything, but it was really cool, how it's all set up, how everyone is watching, critiquing you -- kind of nervous and scary at the same time. Once you get into the testing, and I started doing my thing, it was all good.

It's intimidating, for sure, but as you get comfortable in your own skin and taking off your shirt and stuff, it's good. I knew I was prepared for it all and I knew I was going to fare well on all the tests. I was happy with that.

I thought I did good on the vertical leap and especially the long jump -- I almost jumped off the mat there. And the pushups, I did really well on that.

The bikes tests were really tough. We bike a little in Red Deer at my gym in the summer, but we never did that. It's not a part of that. I'm not sure how they correlate to hockey, but I know what scouts are looking for -- how you battle and compete. I just wanted to go on there and do my best in that and give everything I have.

The Wingate test was first and it's tough. You've got to definitely focus in for those full 35 seconds. And it really is 35 -- you start and they say faster, faster and then you go and you've got to hit that for 30 seconds. I was good. I don't think I dropped off too much. I really pushed through. Wingate was one of my stronger ones.

The VO2 was next and I had done that at my gym before, but nothing like this. That was tough. I really put everything into it. At one point I think I blacked out. I didn't even know what I was doing -- I was just going. I don't know what happened, just the animal inside took over. It was good, though.

I'm done now, and it was a really good week. I'm happy I did this.
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 4:59 PM

By Matt Dumba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Matt Dumba draft blog

Dumba: Best advice I got was to be myself

Matt Dumba is a defenseman for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The 5-foot-11.75, 183-pound defenseman was named WHL Rookie of the Year after scoring 15 goals and adding 11 assists in 62 games. He also had a tournament-high 12 points -- all assists -- to help Canada Pacific win the bronze medal at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. This summer, he played for Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and also took part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Dumba has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Things have been going pretty well for me here at the Scouting Combine. All the interviews have been really solid. I've been happy with all of them.

I haven't gotten any silly or crazy questions. Everyone else seems to be getting them except for me. We'll see as the weekend progresses, but none yet.

It's been interesting all-round being here. It's different. You're passing guys in the hallway all the time, running to each interview. But it's all fun. I'm just having a good time with it and enjoying it.

That's pretty much what everyone I know who's been here before has said.

Alex Petrovic, he told me go and enjoy it and don't get caught up in anything. Just stay level-headed no matter what the interview goes like. Jeff Glass, he trains at my gym, and he's been through it all as well -- been to World Juniors, been drafted in the third round. He's a great guy. He just told me be myself and have fun with that. Don't be shy, be honest with all the teams and that's what I've been doing.

I have six more interviews tomorrow, and then the fitness testing is Friday. I'm still eating properly and drinking a lot, staying hydrated for that. I'm looking forward to it. Shouldn't be all that bad. I'm ready for it.

Everyone talks about the bike tests, but I've done them before at my gym. I'm not too concerned.
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Posted On Monday, 03.12.2012 / 11:50 AM

By Matt Dumba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Matt Dumba draft blog

Dumba: Still pushing hard to finish season

Matt Dumba is a defenseman for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The 5-foot-11.75, 183-pound defenseman was named WHL Rookie of the Year after scoring 15 goals and adding 11 assists in 62 games. He also had a tournament-high 12 points -- all assists -- to help Canada Pacific win the bronze medal at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. This summer, he played for Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and also took part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Dumba has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

It's been a rough month for us here in Red Deer, but it's nice to finally be home.

With the Scotties here in Red Deer -- it's the Canadian women's curling championship -- we got kicked out of our rink for two and a half weeks. So we made our swing out west and then back east. We played some really good teams and we're happy with the record we had on the road. Lately we've been .500, but the team's been working hard and it's been good to see.

We won't be making the playoffs this season -- we were eliminated over the weekend -- but with three games left, it's a matter of working hard and competing in the situation we're in and making the most of it.

Being on the road, it's tough. It wears on you, your body. Every game we played, we came out and worked and battled as hard as we should have and gave ourselves an opportunity to win almost every game. The coaching staff was happy about that and we're happy we showed that consistent work ethic.

And we were able to play well with so many guys injured. It's almost a joke. We laugh about it, how many injuries we have. Eight or nine regulars have been out. We only had four defensemen for about a month or something and we've been playing with five defensemen ever since. But it's been fun logging those minutes and I'm happy I'm helping my teammates out the best I can.

I'm pretty happy with my game. I think it's been really consistent. Throughout the games on the road there were times where there were a couple games where as a team we weren't playing our best hockey and I had one game in there where I didn't play my best. But beside that, the last month has been really good. I've been feeling really good, been battling and competing, doing all the little things my team has asked for.

We did have some fun on the road. We had a 20-hour bus ride from Vancouver to Prince Albert, and some of the older guys, the second-year veterans and some of the other guys, we stayed up and got our shaving cream and got a bunch of the guys while they were sleeping.

Our focus right now is taking it one day at a time, one period at a time, one shift at a time. That's what we emphasize around here. If you win or lose, the big thing is knowing that you went out there and gave your all. Be able to look your teammates in the face and look in the mirror at the end of the night and be satisfied with your effort, know you couldn't have done any more.

Thanks for reading.
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Posted On Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 3:25 AM

By Matt Dumba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Matt Dumba draft blog

Dumba enjoyed full Top Prospects Game experience

Matt Dumba is a defenseman for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The 5-foot-11.75, 183-pound defenseman was named WHL Rookie of the Year after scoring 15 goals and adding 11 assists in 62 games. He also had a tournament-high 12 points -- all assists -- to help Canada Pacific win the bronze medal at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. This summer, he played for Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and also took part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Dumba has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

KELOWNA, B.C. -- It was a fun final day for me here in Kelowna.

It started in the morning with the pre-game skate, which was a lot of fun. Get the power play down pat -- just a good pre-game skate. Then we had pictures and stuff like that, went back to the hotel for a little bit of media. Got a good nap in before the game and got prepared.

One of the real highlights was getting to work with our coaches, Mark Recchi and Ryan Huska. Both those guys are so experienced, lots of knowledge. You can really learn from those guys. It was great to have them behind the bench.

Recchi actually showed off his three Stanley Cup rings. It was pretty amazing to see his first one, and then last year, the difference in the rings. He's wearing that one and it's weighting down his hand, it was so big. It was pretty cool to see.

When the game started, I wanted to make sure I had a good first shift, really wanted to get the legs moving. I had a pretty strong first shift, and just kept it solid and tried to improve my game from there.

The first period was really tight. I just wanted to have a good, solid period and not many mistakes and move the puck clean and get out. Go out there and work hard and battle and compete.

In the third period I got a chance for a big hit. I'm not sure I got. He was just coming down the boards and the puck was rolling on him, which made him look down at the puck. He was going wide and I got an opportunity to step up on him.

Bussieres came in and we bumped together and we both looked at each other. He told me we're going, so I dropped them.

Fighting wasn't something I was completely thinking about all game or wanted to do in a game like tonight but I knew if I was going to make a big hit, there could be a possibility a guy could jump in. But it was fun.

Overall it was a great experience, with great people. Off the ice it's really easy to get along and talk to the guys. We all have the same common goal and it's to get to the NHL. There's a lot of talk. It's fun being around the boys and it was a really fun game, as well.

For sure, I'll remember this one for a long time.
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Posted On Wednesday, 02.01.2012 / 2:19 AM

By Matt Dumba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Matt Dumba draft blog

Dumba had fun with testing, skills competition

Matt Dumba is a defenseman for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The 5-foot-11.75, 183-pound defenseman was named WHL Rookie of the Year after scoring 15 goals and adding 11 assists in 62 games. He also had a tournament-high 12 points -- all assists -- to help Canada Pacific win the bronze medal at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. This summer, he played for Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and also took part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Dumba has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

KELOWNA, B.C. -- Greetings from the Top Prospects Game.

Today was a pretty interesting day. It started in the morning with the Next Testing. That was a different experience. I hadn't done that testing before, on or off the ice. It was neat to see. Some of the other guys, they had done it before so I let those guys go ahead of me and see how it's done and I just did my best, worked hard.

On the ice, I thought some of it was kind of awkward. You're used to getting that freedom to skate where you want in practice. It was so structured, but it was fun. I liked the pivoting and the stops, I was pretty good at them. It was a neat experience.

Off the ice, we did jump tests, our vertical leap and grip strength. Those were different. I've never done the grip strength before. It was fun to see."

I know a lot of NHL scouts were watching, and I hope they saw positive things. I think I went out there and gave it my all. It's pretty neat knowing there's so many guys out there watching and critiquing all the time. You've got to be on your game at all times. It was a really good experience.

The skills contest was a lot of fun. Sitting in the room, you don't really know all the guys, but you realize they're all really great guys. Everyone is so friendly. It's easy to make talk, especially with the guys from your own league, it's easy to talk like that. And I played on the World Under-18 team with a lot of the guys, so we're good buddies like that. You're kind of nervous and stuff, but all day today, everyone said to just make sure you're having fun out there and that's what I did.

I did the hardest shot contest. It was different. I've never done anything like that. I never really knew how hard my shot was. Going in I knew I had a decent shot. I was looking forward to seeing where I fit in amongst the hardest shooters. I guess I fell in right in the middle of the pack. It was good.

I shot 90.6 and 91.2 mph. I was happy to see it. I think, if anything, guys were saying I've got to shoot the puck lower to register a faster time.

I think the fastest skater contest really got me going. It's pretty dangerous, guys are going so fast. Going into those turns, you don't want to see anyone fall. They're doing that at such a high speed, it's pretty amazing to see the guys wheel like that.

The 3-on-3 contest that ended the night, that was different. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was fun. It's tough with such great caliber of guys, they know how to use the ice so efficiently. No one's playing defense, it was just go-go-go. But it was lots of fun.

Overall it was a fun night, but I'm looking forward more to tomorrow night and the real game. My game and competitive edge really shows in games rather than skills competition and friendly 3-on-3. I made a hit in the 3-on-3 and didn't think really anyone liked that. I toned it down after that and just worked on skating hard and making sure we were trying to score a goal. It wasn't even that bad, just finishing a light check on the boards. I don't know what the fans were expecting. Tomorrow night everyone will be going and it'll be really competitive.
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Posted On Wednesday, 11.30.2011 / 12:09 PM

By Matt Dumba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Matt Dumba draft blog

Dumba looking forward to going to Camp

Matt Dumba is a defenseman for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The 5-foot-11.75, 183-pound defenseman was named WHL Rookie of the Year after scoring 15 goals and adding 11 assists in 62 games. He also had a tournament-high 12 points -- all assists -- to help Canada Pacific win the bronze medal at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. This summer, he played for Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and also took part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Dumba has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Hi everyone. First let's update you with what's going on with our team. We had a great road trip to British Columbia, picking up nine of a possible 10 points. But then we came back and we've lost our last five, and that's been a slip in our team. I'm not sure what happened; it's just we kind of found a rhythm on the road trip, being in the same routine. We got back and faced some circumstances with injuries and things like that that shook up our lineup a bit. We had some losses and got away from some of the things we were doing on the road trip.

Personally I had a pretty good month. I was working hard and just doing lot of the little things right. I was pretty happy with my game. I had a goal and an assist in Victoria, and 2 assists in Lethbridge. I have 18 points in 23 games now, but I don't really like to focus on those points there. Or really pay attention to all that. For me to be playing my best game, it's not going to include points, but when it does, it's a good feeling to know I'm contributing. Some games I know I'm playing the best games I have and it's little things I'm doing on the ice -- my D zone is tight, I'm gapping up on guys and really focusing on those little things. It's like when I saw on TSN, Brent Sutter was talking about Jarome Iginla's game, and Jarome didn't have any points, but Sutter said that's what he's looking for from Jarome.

This week also was great because I got invited to Hockey Canada's camp for the 2012 World Junior Championship. It was pretty awesome when I got the call from coach Ryan Huska. He said he was calling behalf of Team Canada and wanted to congratulate me and said he'd see me in a few weeks. I didn't have any words for it. I told my family first and then he said keep it quiet until they release it on Monday. I was keeping my mouth shut until then. It's a feeling that I've been working so hard to get to this point, yet I know it's just one step closer and I know I have lots of steps to take and lots of hard work to do. I'm willing to do anything to make it on this team. I'm pretty excited for the opportunity I have.

It's huge, but I know it's just an invitation right now and no real guarantee to anything. I've still got to go out there and work my hardest and compete and find that higher level I know I have to play at that level.

Talk to you more next month.
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Posted On Wednesday, 10.26.2011 / 9:00 AM

By Matt Dumba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Matt Dumba draft blog

Dumba building off strong summer

Matt Dumba is a defenseman for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The 5-foot-11.75, 183-pound defenseman was named WHL Rookie of the Year after scoring 15 goals and adding 11 assists in 62 games. He also had a tournament-high 12 points -- all assists -- to help Canada Pacific win the bronze medal at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. This summer, he played for Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and also took part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Dumba has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Hi, this is Matt Dumba from the Red Deer Rebels. I'm really excited to get this season going. It's been a good start to the season here. We're 8-3 now. We got off to a slow start as a team and I did individually, but we've picked it up and found a rhythm, and lately we've been on a roll, winning five games in a row, and I have 7 points in 11 games. They're pretty good numbers, I'm happy with that. And it's fun playing with Justin Weller on the back end here. I'm really looking forward to the next month ahead of us.

We're only a month or so into the regular season here, but I've actually been on the ice for a while. I was named captain of our team for the Ivan Hlinka Tournament in August. I'd been to Europe when I was younger with a summer hockey team. We traveled around and played other teams. It was nice to experience that, but I hadn't been over in recent years. It was really interesting to go over to Slovakia and the Czech Republic, experience the culture and see how everyone is over there.

As a team, we came out and lost our first game to Sweden, which was a wake-up call, but we went on a tear in the next five games and won every game by a decisive margin. It was a pretty amazing accomplishment. As captain, leading the team was pretty easy with such a great group of players and characters on that team. I had a pretty good tournament and really showed I could play that defensive game, but also add that offense, the hits and flair that everyone likes to see.

After that, I had the NHL RDO Camp in Toronto. That camp was pretty interesting. You got matched up against some of the top guys in this year's draft. It was pretty neat to see all the guys, especially the Russian guys, Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk. It was great to see their skill and what you're up against, competition-wise. It was a pretty fun few days -- fun to go up there and know people are watching, but just have fun with it, just go out there and have fun and enjoy the experience.
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Quote of the Day

It's a little different but it feels amazing. A new chapter in my life and I'm excited. It's been amazing. Better than I expected. The weather is great, the place is just amazing. I can't say enough good things about it. I'm glad to get the season going.

— Ryan Kesler on his transition to the Anaheim Ducks