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The View from the Ice: Hayden on Prospect Camp and beyond

by John Hayden / Chicago Blackhawks
John Hayden talks with his fellow U.S. NTDP alums during the scrimmage (Photo by Mackenzie McCluer / Chicago Blackhawks).

Throughout the week, 2013 draft pick John Hayden will be blogging for about his experiences during his first Blackhawks Prospect Camp.

It was nice to be on the winning side of today’s Prospect Camp scrimmage, but these past two scrimmages have just been exhibition games. Tomorrow is for everything: the last scrimmage of the week, it’s going to be played more like an actual game, and it's our last chance to show what we can do. So we have to bring it all tomorrow again just to make sure we get the win.

Of course, this week should be enjoyable, too. You don’t want to be too serious. At nights we just try to have fun, get dinner, do what we do. In the mornings, we have a workout or skate. But now that we have a real game tomorrow, we’re just going to come to the rink – no workout, no skate – and get right after it. It’s going to be pretty serious tomorrow.

After our last day tomorrow, we’re going to all head our separate ways, and I’m going to start preparing for the U.S, World Junior Championship Evaluation Camp in August. I’m going there with the mindset that I really want to make the team. There’s a lot of talent there so it’s going to be hard work and competitive, but that’s definitely a goal of mine, and I still want to win a gold medal on the international stage.

I’ve been training this summer since I got back from Ann Arbor with Ben Prentiss at Prentiss Hockey Performance, and he does a great job with the programs there. I’ve been working off-ice there, which definitely helps a lot now. I’ll keep skating on-ice, it’s a good way to help me stay in shape. Especially going to that [world juniors] camp, I want to stay in good skating shape. I didn’t skate as much the last month, but now that this camp has started, and I’m getting ready for the World Juniors Camp, and then after that, getting ready for Yale, I’m definitely going to be skating more.

This week has been a great preparation for me, and is going to propel me into those other challenges. The skating here will get me into great shape for the on-ice stuff, and the exposure to high-level hockey like this with a great staff and organization is good for me to have experienced.

I’m not sure what all of us will do with our last night in town together. We’ve had a full day so we’ll see what happens. I’ll probably talk to the boys, have another great dinner; there’s been a lot of good food here in Chicago so we’ll try and figure something out. Last night’s trip to Wrigley Field was a lot of fun. L.A. came out on top last night, but it was fun to see the field again. The spirit that Chicago fans bring is incredible: it made all of us want to be back here a little bit more.

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