Jamie Oleksiak, a 6-foot-7, 241-pound defenseman chosen 14th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Dallas Stars, is one of 22 players within the organization attending the NHL Prospects Tournament this week in Traverse City, Mich. Oleksiak has agreed to provide NHL.com with a daily blog that will offer an inside look at the tournament both on and off the ice.
Hi everyone. Well, we lost our final game, 4-1, to the Minnesota Wild today. I think as the tournament went on, I got more accustomed to the pace and everything. This wasn't the outcome we wanted, but I think I did pretty well with this opportunity to kind of prove myself; it was a tough game. We came out hard and Soupy (goalie Jack Campbell) stood on top of his head. They got a couple good chances and buried their chances and worked hard in front of the net. We weren't able to capitalize on our chances so I think it was frustrating. At times I think I had a tendency to do too much when that pressure got me down … you just get frustrated at times.
I think with more maturity, I'll learn to stick to my game and stay calm in times like that and just take it shift by shift. I think the boys battled hard the whole tournament but penalties really killed us and a couple of bounces went against us; that's really what it comes down to.
After the game the coaches called us in for a meeting and gave us their thoughts of the tournament and how some of the guys did … just some feedback. I think Dallas has done a great job with giving guys opportunities and every guy got a chance to prove himself in this tournament so we'll see what happens.
Overall, the tournament was huge for everybody and to be out here at an event where a lot of guys once started off and advanced pretty well in their careers to do phenomenally well, is special. To be out here with future Dallas Stars prospects is a real honor for me and obviously some of the games didn't turn out well, but you have to look at the positives. It was fun to get to know the guys and get that pace and play that fast game. I learned a lot and got used to the game and was able to see where I need to improve and get better and hopefully earn a spot.
So, now that it's over, it's training camp. You always want to set the bar high and really push yourself so I'm taking it one day at a time. I plan on going to training camp and going there to prove myself and prove I can earn a spot. You have to realize you might be taking someone else's job so it's going to be a real battle, so my mentality is to take it day by day and work my hardest. I won't be satisfied with just going back somewhere else while at training camp.