I think today was one of the harder practices we've had at Development Camp so far. We've been doing a lot of one-on-one and two-on-two battles all week, but it's fun to go out there and compete. It's crazy to think "Oh, I'm going against a guy that's a couple of years older than me" but you're going to have to experience that at one point or another. I'm going to be playing against college players that are just as old as some of these guys next year at Boston University, so I've got to start getting ready for that now.
Chad Krys is a former BU player who just left college to go play in Rockford and he knows a lot about the East Coast hockey leagues and the systems they run out there. It's kind of cool to get his insight, especially before I head out in the fall. I actually played against Boston with the USNTDP and they had a ton of fans and an awesome rink. That's going to be amazing to have that student section, which is something I've never really gotten to experience before. They probably have the best facilities in all of college hockey. We lost in overtime.
One thing that the Blackhawks coaching staff has been coming back to all week is just mental toughness and positivity. I think confidence is a big thing. You can't get too down on yourself if you make a bad play or a bad pass or anything like that. You just take it one shift at a time and if something bad happens out there, then you just have to learn from it. Failure isn't neccesarily a bad thing or something to dread the whole time you're on the ice.
All week, we've gotten a glimpse of the talent and skill level of everybody out here, but it's a whole other level once you put everying into a game. I'm excited to scrimmage tomorrow morning. Some people tend to play better in a game-like situation and some people tend to play worse, but I think it's going to be a whole lot faster and a whole lot more fun. Especially with all the fans and media that have been here all week.