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Catching up with… Kenny Agostino

The 26-year-old forward is hoping to impress the Canadiens' brass at training camp

by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL /

MONTREAL - After signing a one-year, two-way contract with the Canadiens on July 1st, we caught up with forward Kenny Agostino , who is currently training in Connecticut.

How are you approaching this opportunity with the Habs?

KENNY AGOSTINO: From the outside looking in, I think everyone in the organization wants and expects a bounce back year. I think clearly you can see there's opportunity. For me, it's all about having a good first day of training camp. I've been a pro now for a few years and I understand how it works. Ultimately, my goal is to come into training camp, have a good first day and take it from there. I believe I've shown that I can play in the NHL and play well in the NHL. It's just a matter of showing that I can play consistently, help a team win consistently and establish myself. I plan to have a great first day and then wait for my opportunity. Then, it's up to me to make the most of it. It's as simple as that.

Tweet from @kennyagostino: Very excited to be joining the @CanadiensMTL organization! #GoHabsGo

You've had success in the AHL ranks over the years, but do you feel like your time to crack an NHL roster and stick around has finally come?

KA: I've felt that I've been ready to play in the NHL for the past couple of years, but there are a lot of different factors that come into play. Sometimes, your window is smaller than you want it to be. That's just the nature of the business. But, in terms of my ability and where I'm at confidence-wise, there's no question that I know I can play in the NHL. Whatever opportunity I get this year, I have to run with it. I'm old enough and mature enough now where I understand that. I'm coming into this year and I'm just so excited to get up there because the organization expects a big bounce back year and what comes with that is the opportunity for guys to prove themselves. I know I can play in the NHL. There's no question about that. It's just about proving to the organization that I deserve an opportunity to do that.

Are you putting any added pressure on yourself this time around to earn that roster spot right off the bat?

KA: My goal out of camp is to make the team. That's goal one. But, the more years I've been a pro and the older I'm getting, it's all about managing your expectations and keeping yourself level-headed and even keel. Obviously, my goal is to play in the NHL right from the get-go. In short, though, there's a lot of opportunity here. I'm not putting any added pressure on myself. I invite it, I welcome it and I'm very excited to get going.

What are you hoping to bring to the Canadiens?

KA: I bring a good two-way game. That's what's going to allow me to be successful and help the team win. I've got a good skill-set, good hockey IQ and I can make plays - but I need to make those plays both offensively and defensively. I think that's something that's certainly grown in my game over my years being a pro, my continued development away from the puck. That's an area I've certainly improved on, and hopefully I continue to improve on my two-way offensive style of game.

Tell us a little bit about your training so far this summer.

KA: I train at Prentiss Hockey Performance in Stamford, CT. It's run by Ben Prentiss. He's one of the best trainers in the business. This is my fifth year now. There are no easy days in that gym, but it's an unbelievable culture. It's such a competitive atmosphere, in the gym and on the ice. I think that brings the most out of everyone. That's kind of what you want in the summer. We're not playing games, so you compete in the gym. My trainer is Brian Elser. This summer, my training partner is Gabriel Fontaine. He's in the New York Rangers organization. 

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