|O'Gara roomed with Warsofsky during Development Camp 2011. |
Nonetheless, he was thrilled to be drafted by the Boston Bruins in the fifth round (151st overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
“It really was surreal and such an incredible honor,” O’Gara said. “It was quite an incredible experience and it would really be hard to describe how excited I was when I saw my name called for the draft.”
Getting drafted capped a prolific year for O’Gara, who helped Milton Academy win the New England Hockey championship in his junior season.
But even after winning the title, he knew there were still a lot of areas in his game he could improve on as he prepared for his senior season.
That realization came last summer as he attended his first Boston Bruins development camp.
“Being able to attend development camp last summer was a pretty incredible experience for me,” O’Gara said. “From rooming with [Providence Bruins defenseman] Dave Warsofsky and being able to talk to him about his experiences to skating, to training and hanging out with the most skilled group of players and staff I have ever been around.
"I learned quite a lot both on and off the ice.
“The biggest thing I took from the week was that I have more than a lot of hard work ahead of me in order to reach my goal of playing in the NHL. I feel as if I was able to take this work ethic into the season this year and it certainly helped me and hopefully some of the guys around me get better and work harder,” he said.
O'Gara's improved work ethic reflected in his numbers, as he finished the season with five goals and 20 assists in 24 games this season for Milton Academy (9-15-2).
The young blueliner was also named team captain for the season, and there was a big leadership hole that needed to be filled.
“We had a lot of new guys after we lost 13 seniors last year, so it was a completely different situation,” he said. “Being the captain and taking a lead role in helping the new guys was a great experience for me in developing my leadership and leading by example on the ice.”
The 18-year old defenseman, who stands at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, directed his efforts this season towards getting stronger, skating faster, and improving his puck-handling skills.
O’Gara, who will attend Yale University in the fall, said he is looking forward to attending Bruins development camp again this summer, and will continue to improve his quickness as he prepares to compete at the collegiate level.
“[Camp] is a lot of fun and I look forward to challenging myself against some incredible competition once again,” O’Gara said. “Working on my agility and flexibility will be the key for me this offseason.
"As a bigger player, I think I use my body well to out-muscle opponents and protect the puck. I definitely need to add some good weight in order for this to translate to the higher levels.” --Anthony Gulizia