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View from the Ice: Learning the ropes

by Evan Barratt, with Leah Pascarella /

Throughout the week, 2017 draft pick Evan Barratt will be blogging for about his experiences during his first Blackhawks Prospect Camp.

I arrived in Chicago a few days ago for my first Blackhawks camp and have been meeting a lot of new players. I'm rooming with Chad Krys, a defenseman who I played with at the U.S. National Team Development Program. He was really one of the only guys I knew coming in, but he came to camp last year after being drafted so he knows how everything works. It's been good having him here, and he's been a lot of help.

Of course I was a little nervous. Who doesn't have nerves when they're at their first development camp? It wasn't too hard getting up this morning, though, knowing we were going to the rink for the first time this week.

Today we started off with skating drills, where we worked on edgework, shooting and one-on-one battle. The drills and workouts are pretty similar to what I've been doing, but being that it's summer I'm not skating as much at this high intensity, so it took a couple of drills to get into it. It was great being on the ice and getting used to the new coaching staff and players.

The Blackhawks are truly a first-class organization. It's clear that the staff's focus is on preparing the next generation, and that begins with everything we do here at camp. The mental part is such a big part of the game, and it's been awesome learning so many new tips just in these first few days.

Tonight, Chad and I are going to treat ourselves and get sushi in the city. We'll probably also watch some Netflix (we just started "90210") and get ourselves ready for another day of camp tomorrow.

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