WILMINGTON, MA – Between his time at Milton Academy and the Boston Bruins Development Camp, Robbie O’Gara is learning what it takes to cultivate a career in hockey.
This season, the Bruins fifth round (151st overall) selection of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft led the Milton Mustangs, scoring five goals and 20 assists for a total of 25 points in 24 games. O’Gara really stepped up as team captain and improved his two-way play.
“I was able to play more offensive, where I’m kind of more a stay-at-home defenseman,” the 6-foot-3, 185-pound blueliner said. “That was a lot of fun.”
O’Gara was voted the team’s Marty McInnis Most Valuable Player, and also earned All-New England honors in the Independent School League. The defenseman said serving as a captain his senior year taught him a valuable lesson about leadership.
“This year, there were a lot of young guys on the team,” the 18-year-old said. “I think I learned a lot in terms of helping out younger guys and sort of setting the right example.”
He has achieved quite a bit in his time with the Mustangs, winning the New England Prep School Championship in 2011, and playing in the annual Frozen Fenway match this winter. Milton’s squad fell 6-2 to Noble and Greenough School, but O’Gara had no regrets.
“It was incredible. Warming up on the warning track – it was freezing,” he recalled. “But seeing we had like 300 people from our school there, it was a lot of fun.
“[We] didn’t get the outcome we wanted… but the experience was amazing.”
O’Gara has committed to attend Yale University in the Fall, and hopes he can continue to find success in the classroom and on the ice with the blue Bulldogs.
“I actually visited there before any hockey had been considered at all and I loved it,” he said of the Ivy League school. “When I was asked to play there it was really a no brainer.
“Especially with the prestige of the program, the coaching staff, the way they play – they’re really run and gun and I love that.
“I’m really looking forward to it.”
For now, the rookie is focused on performing at the B’s Development Camp, and took advantage of his college workouts to help prepare for this summer’s test.
“A lot of off-ice training focused on the weight room,” he said of his training regiment. “Yale actually started the Yale workout program and I’m trying to hit that hard with a few of my friends back home.
“Obviously, it’s such a great group of guys out there so it’s a challenge but it’s a lot of fun.”
The Massapequa, NY native will continue to learn and improve his game, both in Wilmington this week and in New Haven next fall, in hopes of eventually reaching the National Hockey League.
“It’s been my passion and my dream is to work in the NHL, and I’m going to work as hard as I can to do that.”