Ryan Johansen, a 6-foot-3, 192-pound center chosen fourth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets, is one of 26 players within the organization attending the NHL Prospects Tournament this week in Traverse City, Mich. Johansen has agreed to offer NHL.com a daily blog that will provide an inside look at the tournament both on and off the ice.
Well, we just finished our first good practice this morning in Traverse City to prepare for our game against the Red Wings on Saturday. This tourney was a lot fun last year and I'm sure this year will be the same. There's a lot of talent at this tournament and it's always fun to play in and I think it'll be a great thing to help get me in game shape when I go back to main camp in Columbus and down the road.
We got into Traverse at about 7 p.m. on Friday. Some of the guys went out and had some dinner and some went over to the mini-putting course across the street. We had some fun with it. We woke up (Saturday) morning and came to the rink and went over some systems and just kind of got some chemistry going with our new linemates preparing for the games.
I was in Columbus at Nationwide Arena on the morning we heard about the tragic plane crash in Russia. You can tell something happened because it was pretty quiet and few guys on our team are from Russia like Fedor Tyutin and Maksim Mayorov. It was really sad to see that happen and our thoughts and prayers to all the family members and friends to those on that flight. It's just crazy what has been going on this summer and hopefully it's over.
Columbus has given me all the opportunities to succeed and I think I proved myself last year in the Western Hockey League (Portland Winterhawks) that I really deserve to be up here (in the NHL), so as long as I'm proving myself and playing my game and doing well, I should have a great opportunity to make this team.
I'll update the blog again after Sunday's game against Buffalo.