Summer's been pretty good to me.
And really, it started way back in March when I decided to leave Ann Arbor and turn pro. It was a tough decision because I had such a great experience playing for Red Berenson, but I was ready for my next step.
When I got to Cleveland, it just felt right.
We had a great team, and it didn't take long for everyone to see that. The playoffs just flew by and before I knew it, we were playing for a championship. There I was, 18 years old and only a couple months removed from being in a college classroom, and it was a "pinch me" moment - we had to win four more games to hoist the Calder Cup. Is this real?
It was, and it turned out pretty well.
I got to take the Calder Cup on the court at Quicken Loans Arena during Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Unbelievable.
Then we spent some time at our family friends' cottage in Michigan, celebrating the 4th of July and I even snuck some golf in along the way. It's a great, relaxing place.
The time at home was great, but short. Once August wound down it was off to Toronto for the Upper Deck Rookie Showcase - even cooler was being able to bring one of my friends from home with me, and he got to see all the stuff that goes on there. Last weekend I was in Virginia with Korpi, P-L Dubois and Anton Forsberg for rookie orientation with the NHLPA, and we learned probably more than we thought we would.
After that it was back to Columbus and I've been here ever since, ready to get going.
Now, I'm about to embark on something bigger. I'm trying to make the NHL. It's a little nerve-wracking, I won't lie, but I feel confident that I can make it happen. The journey starts this weekend in Traverse City with a group of my fellow Blue Jackets prospects, and we're going for a three-peat.
A bunch of the guys I played with in Cleveland this year won this thing a year ago, and I want to help put our name on that trophy for a fifth time.
Main camp is up next. I'm excited. I know I can help the Blue Jackets and I hope the management and coaches feel the same way, but it's up to me to show them what I can do.
Hopefully you can follow along with us in Traverse City - we've got a good team with a lot of good players and we think we can win it again.
See you soon.