Our first team practice yesterday went really well. We just went over some basics and it was good to get on the ice here for the first time in Penticton. It’s always a lot of fun to be on the ice with the guys so I really enjoyed that. I felt pretty good yesterday, I wasn’t too tired from the testing so that’s always a good sign.
We haven’t gotten our scores for the testing yet but I think I did pretty good. I don’t think it ever gets easier but doing it more helps me mentally. I did it before draft and then in July and then here to start the camp so I’ve got some experience with it under my belt.
Our morning skate went really well – running some drills and got to learn to play together so that was good to get together in the morning before the first game.
I’ve never played any type of hockey like this before but I knew it was going to be competitive and fun. I went into this knowing I had to do my best and just do what I do. I know there’s a lot of talk about the Edmonton team because they have so many top prospects and draft picks but I can’t think about that and just focus on our team.
Obviously, our first game didn’t end the way we all wanted but it’s a good lesson and good to get the first one out of the way now. I thought we came out pretty good to start but we were way too slow in the second and we lost it there. We came back pretty good in the third but the game is 60 minutes and we didn’t play like that.
It was good to help chip in and get an assist on Darren Archibald’s goal. I saw him wide open, he made a great call and got rewarded with the goal. It was fun to play on a line with two Niagara Ice Dogs (Archibald and Alex Friesen) – who I played against in the playoffs this year and see what it’s like on the other side to have them on my team.
I think we didn’t play as well as we could and maybe there were some nerves but I just want to go out there and do my best every time. I was obviously a little nervous before but I tried not to focus too much on it and think about it as a regular game. Looking ahead, I know I’m best when I have the puck on the offense so I really want to work on my defensive part too and really be strong in the d-zone too.
If I were to compare this kind of hockey to what I know back home, the biggest differences are definitely the tempo and the rink size because it’s a lot bigger in Denmark. We have way more time to think about what we want to do over there, whereas I have to think quicker here because there is less space to work with.
I’m probably one of the younger guys out there tonight being a recent draft pick but age wasn’t really an issue out there because everyone is so skilled. I’m comfortable playing with older guys because that’s what I did in Denmark – my linemates there were 40 years old so the age difference isn’t the first time I’ve experienced it and doesn’t make much of a difference to me.
We’ll get some rest tonight and look to perform better tomorrow against the Sharks.
Got any questions? I would love to hear from you. Send me your thoughts.