After a breakout season for the Blue Jackets, Dalton Prout isn't ready to rest on any laurels.
The Blue Jackets recalled Prout from the Springfield Falcons in March and he played in 28 games. During those games, Prout defended the blue line with 25 penalty minutes and registered seven points. The chemistry with his teammates was evident as they went down the end-of-season stretch, narrowly missing out on a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
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With training camp over two months away, Prout knows that despite his stat sheet and trusted on-ice role during the last season, he still has to earn his place on the roster.
“Coming into training camp, you have to earn your spot,” Prout told BlueJackets.com. “It was made clear at the end of the year that nothing is ever set in stone. I’ll come into training camp to earn a spot.”
Though he has spent most of the offseason preparing for training camp and the 2013-14 season in Windsor, Ont. by working out and skating daily, he has returned to Columbus for a few days to work out with some of his teammates and touch base with the strength and conditioning staff.
Each player was sent into the offseason with a detailed summer workout program and some have stopped into Columbus to evaluate their progress.
“I’m at the gym every morning,” Prout said. “And right now, I’m in town to make sure my training regimen is on line and that I’m meeting the standards now rather than meeting them come training camp.”
Prout plans to return to Columbus in early September to finish up his summer training and prepare for training camp, which will begin mid-September at the OhioHealth Ice Haus. For now, though, he's hanging at Nationwide Arena during draft week - of which he has fond memories of (and a good story to tell) in 2010.
"I worked that day," Prout said with a laugh. He was a sixth-round pick of the Blue Jackets at the NHL Draft in Los Angeles, and was not present at STAPLES Center to hear his name called.
But it didn't take but a few minutes to get a phone call from then-GM Scott Howson, welcoming him into the organization.
“I was driving back on the main highway when my agent called me and told me (I had been drafted)," Prout recalled. "Then the next day they gave me all the information for development camp, and I went from there.”