BOSTON, MA -- The 2009 Boston Bruins Development Camp may be over but that does not mean that Jamie Arniel is going to be taking too much time off from the game during the remainder of the summer.
After all, there are just a few weeks to go before NHL training camps open in September and Arniel, just 19, knows how much competition there will be for spots on both the Providence Bruins and Boston Bruins rosters come the fall.
Since being picked by Boston in the fourth round (97th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry draft, Arniel, an Ontario native, has learned a lot during his short time in the American Hockey League last spring with the Providence Bruins and also during his two stints at development camp in Wilmington.
“It’s definitely a lot different here than in juniors,” said Ariel of playing in the pros. “The guys are a lot quicker, a lot stronger, and they’re in a lot better shape.”
“You need to prepare yourself and be at your best and that’s what I’m trying to go for this year.
“I think I’m in that much better shape,” he said.
Don’t let his confidence fool you though; Arniel fully admits that the transition to the AHL from his junior team, the Sarnia Sting (where he had a 32-36-38 line in 63 games), was not an easy one.
“The guys are definitely a lot smarter…so at that level it seems that as soon as you get the puck there’s someone on you,” said Arniel, who scored a goal in eight playoff games with the P-Bruins. “I found that out during my first game [for Providence].
“It was kind of rough on me, but the next couple of games I got used to it a little more.”
Given what he has seen at the junior and AHL levels, and with his sights set squarely on the NHL, the young forward has made a conscious effort to do whatever he can to improve his game during this current offseason.
“I’m going to work as hard as I can,” said Arniel. “I want to do whatever I can so that I have the best shot at making this team [Boston Bruins], so I am going to do whatever I can to get in the best shape possible.”
That said, relaxation is important during the hockey offseason, so Arniel has also made sure to plan a little time to sit back and just be a kid again this summer -- but just a little.
“I’m just going to hang out by the pool with friends,” he said, before he added, “or work out.”
Clearly, Arniel understands the work he needs to do.
“I had a little meeting with the coaches and they said they want me to improve on little things, get stronger and quicker, and just get in a lot better shape to be able to compete with the highest strength in the NHL,” said Arniel.
From the sound of it, Arniel truly wants to be an impact player and relishes the opportunity he has with the Black & Gold.
“I want to be remembered as a guy that will do anything to win,” he said.