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View from the Ice: Getting my feet wet

by Nathan Noel, with Brandis Heffner / Chicago Blackhawks
Nathan Noel (front, white jersey), a 2016 fourth-round pick, battles for the puck during a scrimmage. (Chase Agnello-Dean)

Throughout the week, 2016 draft pick Nathan Noel will be blogging for chicagoblackhawks.com about his experiences during his first Blackhawks Prospect Camp.

On draft day I was at a ball hockey tournament. I wasn’t playing with my phone on the bench, and after the game I looked at my phone and it was blowing up. There wasn’t really one call that I found out the news from, I just saw a bunch of texts and that’s how I knew. I was at a loss for words. My buddies were hugging me.

I was really excited to get to camp. I was here in Chicago for the combine, and now I’m just trying to get my feet wet, work as hard as I can, impress the guys upstairs, be a good teammate out there, and do whatever it takes to give it my all.

It’s going by pretty fast. Our first scrimmage was today and it went well. It’s a pretty fast-paced game out there, and I think in the middle of the summer everyone’s just trying to get their legs going. I felt pretty good and I just want to keep going moving forward and keep working hard.

Compared to playing in the QMJHL, the level of hockey is really good here. Everyone’s really equal, and there’s not as much of a drop-off in skill level. It’s a lot deeper of a group here than you’re used to facing in a junior game.

For the rest of the week, I just want to work as hard as I possibly can and try my best. It’s my first development camp, so while the end goal is to make the Blackhawks, right now I just want to improve myself and have a strong finish to this camp.

Overall, it has been a really fun time here and I’m really enjoying myself. Although we’ve done mostly on-ice stuff so far, I’m going to try and get to a Cubs game. I really like baseball and the Cubs are a really good team this year, so that’d be really exciting.

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