As more players joined the informal skates at the OhioHealth Ice Haus over the past week, drills became more intense and practice assumed a sense of “normalcy,” or more accurately – organized chaos.
One player who has stood out for helping to keep an organized pace on the ice is Derek Dorsett.
The 26-year-old right winger broke onto the National Hockey League scene in 2008-09 with the Blue Jackets and has developed into a leader for the team on the ice and off.
“I just try to do what I always do – play hard,” Dorsett told BlueJackets.com. “Being here over the last few years and learning from the veterans that have been here before – obviously, you become more responsible, and I feel more comfortable around the guys.”
The hard work has paid off for Dorsett, who will be a part of the Blue Jackets franchise for the forseeable future after signing a three-year contract extension with the club last May. Last season, Dorsett scored a career-high 12 goals and eight assists, and saw his ice time increase under head coach Todd Richards.
The contract also gives new momentum to a player who is already known for working hard, and Dorsett can’t be more excited to get the season started.
“When you sign that deal, you hope you can get on the ice and prove yourself,” Dorsett said. “I’m just looking forward to proving to them that I’m worth every penny.”
Still, the best part of being back on the ice according to Dorsett is the opportunity to help lead this Blue Jackets team. The roster boasts many new faces this season, and Dorsett hopes to be one of the guys helping to make a home for them in Columbus.
“I’ve been looked upon to be a leader, and I will do whatever I can to help this team win,” Dorsett said.
The skates over the past week have allowed the players to build upon the chemistry they developed over the summer. It has also presented an opportunity to bond as a team off the ice, which has been one of the highlights for Dorsett this past week.
“It’s always fun when guys are back in the locker room – making fun of each other and telling jokes,” Dorsett said, who also mentioned that the chemistry has been “pretty good” for the skates over the past week.
As training camp gets under way this weekend, the team has even more chances to grow the chemistry and prepare for the season. With such a quick transition to the drop of the puck, it’s pretty clear that Dorsett will be one of the guys leading the way to a fresh start for the Blue Jackets.