Bruins prospect Jake DeBrusk is attending his first professional development camp after being selected by the Black & Gold in the first round (14th overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
DeBrusk is excited to develop his game and share his experiences in a daily blog during his week at Bruins Development Camp.
The Edmonton, AB, CAN native is a left shot forward who played his previous two seasons in the WHL for the Swift Current Broncos. The 6'0'', 174-pound forward led his team this past season with 42 goals (good for sixth overall in the WHL), adding 39 assists for 81 points in 72 games.
DeBrusk’s father, Louie, played 401 NHL games with Edmonton, Tampa Bay, Phoenix and Chicago in a 12-year career from 1991-2003 - and, ironically, was coached by Claude Julien with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2001-02.
DAY 1: First Pro Camp
With one day left before my first professional development camp, the emotion I’m feeling the most is excitement. I really can’t wait to get on the ice and put on the Black & Gold. There’s a little bit of nervousness there as well, but most of it is just excitement. I can’t wait to get started, and meet all of my future teammates and the team's staff.
Looking back on the aftermath of the draft was pretty crazy. There were a ton of mentions on social media, and I got verified on Twitter. My friends back home were pretty pumped about that. Coming back to Edmonton, there were people that I don’t even know that would come up and say congratulations. It’s a hockey town here in Edmonton, so it’s definitely a big thing, and overall, you feel like a little bit of a celebrity. It’s something that will take some getting used to, but most of all, I can’t wait to get started and am so proud to have been drafted by the Boston Bruins.
One of the things I’m looking forward to the most is I heard we’re going to Harvard to row during camp. I’ve never gone rowing in my life and it’s something that I’ve never really thought of before. It will be tough, but it’s definitely going to be a lot of fun for all the guys and myself. The most important thing will be teamwork for all of us because I don’t think many of us have rowed before, but I’m very excited to get out there on the water.
Something that helps heading into the week is that I’ve already met most of my fellow draftees. I know Cameron Hughes, Brandon Carlo, Jesse Gabrielle, Jakub Zboril, and Zachary Senyshyn, and it will be great to see those guys again.
I also spent the past two seasons playing with Colby Cave, who recently signed with the Bruins. Colby was a great captain. He led by example and was a guy that I looked up to while playing in Swift Current. Having those friends and familiar faces with you for the experience plays a big part in calming the nerves and definitely creates more of a comfort factor when trying to prepare for this week.
The strongest parts of my game that I’m going to bring to camp are my compete-level and my scoring instincts around the net. Those are pretty much my go-to, bread and butter. Combine that with my hockey sense, and those are my strongest attributes. They are what I try to live by on the ice.
There are still many aspects of my game I need to improve on, but the main area I will focus on this week is my physical strength. The pace going from junior hockey and jumping into development camp is obviously going to be higher. Once I get out there and play, I will see where I stand, but improving my physical strength will really help my compete level and my game overall.
My main goal is to have a really good camp. That’s all you can really do, is work your hardest and have some fun while you do it. I’m always striving to be the best that I can be and give it my all, especially on the ice. That’s my mindset heading into camp and I can’t wait to get started!
--As told to Zach Guerette