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View from the Ice: How hard you have to work

by Nathan Noel, with Brandis Heffner / Chicago Blackhawks
Director of Player Development Barry Smith addresses the prospects at the conclusion of the third scrimmage. (Chase Agnello-Dean)

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

Today was the last day of scrimmages with the free agent players. I felt more comfortable right from the start. The first two scrimmages, I was pretty nervous, but I’ve kind of settled in. Our team (Team A) definitely brought it today.

We started a lot better than we did in previous games, and that was great to see. My main linemates this week have been Beau Starrett and Frederik Olofsson. They’re both big guys and we controlled the puck really well. It was just clicking today. Everything was working. After scoring twice early on, I thought I was having a good game until I got injured and had to come out.

I went for a check and hit the guy; his skate came up and caught me. It’s nothing major, so I should be all right.

Last night the whole group went out for a team dinner. We just had a bunch of tables at the restaurant. I knew a few of the guys at my table, and we had a great time. It’s really classy of the organization, how they set all of this up. We’ve had some time to ourselves in the evenings. We were able to go see the Bean, and that was pretty amazing. Coming from a smaller city, this is a pretty amazing place. I haven’t been to a city this big before.

My favorite part of camp has been just meeting the guys. They’re all great guys, coming from everywhere, and I think we really bonded over the last few days. It’s been a great week for me in general. Compared to all the other guys at camp, I think I was right there with everyone. I worked hard and showed I can compete with everyone here, and that’s what I came to do.

Even though my week’s probably come to an end, I’ve really enjoyed my time here and I’m looking forward to getting back for the rookie camp later this summer. Prospect camp just shows you how hard you have to work. I’m going to try to have a really strong end of the summer and work really hard to get ready for the season, and next year should be fun.

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