We're through Day 3 here at Development Camp and I'm starting to really see what it really takes to play at the next level. It's all been very intense and very tough on the body. It's a lot of fun, but it's also been hard. The speed and pace of the practices this week have definitely been surprising. I'm relatively used to fast-paced practices, but everything here has been one-on-one battle drills.
We had a yoga session the other day, and it was super relaxing. It was about 25 minutes, and it really rejuvenated me. It was my first time doing yoga, so I'm planning on looking into that a little bit more afterwards.
The biggest difference between what I was doing with the USNTDP in Michigan and what I've been doing here in Chicago so far has been getting to play against older guys. Most of us with the program are all around the same age, either 17 or 18, and we've been going up against 20 to 24 year olds. It's pretty cool to see the age difference and see how you match up against the older players. It's another exciting challenge.
Video: Vlasic on first Development Camp
These last three days of camp, I've mentioned here how much I've really enjoyed the seminars we've had with different types of people off the ice, largely centerd around resilience and mental toughness. How to have a different perspective on negative things that have happened and finding a way to turn them into a positive mindset. I know that everything I've learned will help for things in the future - especially college this fall as I head to Boston University.
If you've got a ton of homework but school's done for the day, you have to remember you have a game coming up. You'll need to take everything into consideration. I'm know that I'm a really lucky guy to be able to go to college and play hockey.
I thought that BU encapsulated what I wanted as a college hockey player pretty well. Obviously, they have a great hockey team, great facilities, and a great coaching staff, so everything just seemed to fall into place. I've been to the city a couple of times for hockey tournaments when I was younger and I loved Boston. I had always wanted to live there at one point or another.
Everyone is different in what they want, though. I think choosing where to play college hockey is different for everyone. I didn't mind going away from home, but some people choose where to go based on location. They may not want to go too far from home. A lot of it has to do with how good the team and facilities are. It's more of a personal preference on where you choose to go, but I'm excited to get started in my next chapter.
Before we wrap things up at Development Camp on Friday, I hope to keep doing what I've been doing in camp. I've been taking in a lot of information the past few days, especially the experience and the friendships that I've made with new teammates. That's been something I'll cherish after camp is over and as we continue to grow within this organization.