Throughout the week, 2013 draft pick John Hayden will be blogging for chicagoblackhawks.com about his experiences during his first Blackhawks Prospect Camp.
We got to the rink about the same time as yesterday; one group got to skate, and one group, including me, worked out. After our third day, we’re all getting a better understanding of what being a pro is all about. We’re getting the same treatment that the Blackhawks do, from coaching to our equipment managers and trainers. It’s really motivating us, since we all want to make it to this level.
But then came the part of Prospect Camp that many of us had been looking forward to the most: the scrimmage. I love being able to get out there and play – being competitive is a big part of my game, and that competitiveness is one of the most important things I bring to the table. It felt really good to get out there and fight. I’ve made a lot of friends off the ice this week, but when you step on the rink, it’s a straight battle. You treat all of your opponents the same, and you work hard to win. I’m looking forward to two more scrimmages.
It felt really good to get on the scoresheet with my first goal, especially because being in this jersey really means a lot to me. It meant even more that some of my family was here to watch: my grandfather and mom were sitting in the stands at Johnny’s and they got to see me score my goal. I’m really happy they made it. Those two are my biggest fans, so it’s really special that they got to share this moment with me. It’s fitting.
After Camp is done for the night, I’ve been going out with Ryan Hartman, Anthony Louis, Tyler Motte – all the USNTDP guys – we had a nice steak dinner again. It’s great to hang out with them because we all went through the same things in Ann Arbor, and we’re all really comfortable together.
Tonight we’re going to the Cubs game, so that should be fun. I have been to Wrigley Field before, but it’s been a while. The past three days have been great; I love the city of Chicago, and I think our plans tonight will make everyone appreciate the city a little bit more, since Wrigley is such a landmark and is home to another great franchise. I’m really looking forward to getting back there.