Blue Jackets prospects Ryan Murray and Thomas Larkin stopped by Blue Jackets Hockey School this afternoon to help teach mini mites and mites sessions at the Chiller North ice rink in Columbus.
Murray and Larkin said they enjoyed their time skating with the kids, demonstrating drills, answering questions, participating in scrimmages and getting to know the students during autograph sessions.
“It was good to get out there, have fun with the kids and watch them have a blast out there too," Murray said. "It was great to be around youth hockey.”
Larkin and Murray also reflected on their time spent as youth hockey players- which wasn't too long ago considering they are 22 and 19 years old, respectively.
“I always loved getting out there and staying active," Larkin said. "It was always fun to be out on the ice as much as you could and just play around with your buddies.”
Murray agreed, and said that most of the people he is close with today, he met as a youth hockey player.
“I’ve had the privilege of meeting a lot of great people and a lot of great friends through the sport," Murray said. "My closest friends are the people I played hockey with growing up. As you get older, it becomes more of a business but when you’re younger, it's important to have fun with it.”
Larkin also offered his own bit of advice for youth hockey players at the Blue Jackets Hockey School.
“You just have to have fun," said Larkin. "The kids are having fun, and you can see that. They have smiles on their faces and are having a great time, so it’s really refreshing to see that.”
The Blue Jackets Hockey School students are having fun, but they have also been putting in hard work to improve their skills and learn more about the game. The sessions have had a great turnout so far, with 30 students in the mini mite age group and 60 participants in the mite group.
For most of the kids, this has been their first time on the ice since the end of last season and might be the only time they will be on the ice before the start of their 2013-14 seasons.
Murray said that this is a great opportunity for Hockey School students to take a break from their normal summer activities and get back into the rhythm of playing hockey.
“It was always fun hanging out with your friends and coming to the rink in the summer," Murray said. "I remember being younger and waiting for hockey season, so it's always nice to get back on the ice.”
The mite and mini mite camps both end this Fri., Aug. 2.