WILMINGTON, MA - For a Development Camp veteran like Ben Sexton, a big part of the week is not only showing his skills, but also helping out the rookies.
“It’s been good, this is my fourth one now, so I kind of know what to expect and it’s a great week always,” said the 21-year old forward. “As an older guy I just look to help anyone that needs it.”
His natural tendency to lead led him to be named assistant captain of the Clarkson University Golden Knights last season.
“I think there was a little bit more responsibility on my part,” said Sexton, “But I like to step up to be a leader on any team that I’m with.”
While he might feel comfortable taking charge in the rink now, it was his older brother that showed him the ropes when he was getting started.
“When I was three I used to wake up early mornings and go to [my brother’s] practices,” Sexton said on how he got his start skating, “I just fell in love with the game from an early get go and I really followed what my brother did.”
But his brother isn’t the only one who helped him on the path to professional hockey. Sexton’s dad, Randy, played hockey for St. Lawrence, and currently serves as the Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“It’s funny how things end up,” Sexton said of going to St. Lawrence’s archrival school. “But my dad’s been one of the key role models in my life.
“He’s taught me about the game, he’s taught me how to carry myself on and off the ice and, he’s just been an inspiration for me for sure.”
In his sophomore year, he overcame an early season injury to tally 8-21=28 totals. With that season over, Sexton looks to this summer as a time to make improvements.
“Like always, [I’m working on] getting faster and stronger,” said Sexton, “I think that my biggest issue right now is working on my skating to be an elite skater and it’s something that I need to work on to be the player that I need to be at the next level.”
Sexton was drafted by the Bruins in the seventh round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft (206th overall). Three years later, there’s still some lingering excitement.
“[As a] young kid, being drafted by an original six team like the Bruins, I was just extremely happy,” he said. “I mean, the emotions like, I can’t even describe [it].”