I'm participating in my second development camp here with the Capitals, so I feel really comfortable knowing what all I'll have to go through. Last year, I experienced so much for the first time, and that can be a bit overwhelming. It's nice to have a bit of familiarity with everything this year. Don't get me wrong, it's a lot of skating and drills, but each day I feel like I'm learning something, and that's what is most important with this camp.
It's been nice to see our great staff and group we have here again after a long year away from Washington. I had a bit of an easier time traveling here than last year, when I was basically rushing to get here from Dallas. It's a really exciting time of the year when development camp approaches, knowing you're going to be putting on a Capitals jersey is pretty special. This is something I really have looked forward to.
I woke up yesterday about an hour before I had to walk over to the rink . Me and the guys got a good breakfast in at the hotel around 7 a.m., then we went to the rink to look over some video before the first ice session. It's cool, the video sessions are exactly what the Capitals' coaching staff shows the players on a day to day basis, so you are basically getting trained at all times on what it takes to be a professional hockey player.
Yesterday the forwards and defensemen split up for our first practice. We worked on some 1-on-1 battle drills and some skill work before we transitioned to the full practice, where we did a bunch of 2-on-1s and 3-on-2s. That's a really fun practice for forwards like me, maybe not so much for goaltenders. After our morning practice me and the guys headed back to the hotel to grab some lunch and relax a bit before our big 3-on-3 tournament in the afternoon.
The 3-on-3 tourney was a great time. I had a good feeling that we had a chance to win the whole thing once I saw the team Brian Pinho had drafted. My team, which we rightfully named "The Alphas" had Dennis Cesana, Joe Snively, Kris Bindulis and Pinho. We had amazing chemistry, clearly couldn't be stopped. We got the goaltending we needed to pull it off, and we won the whole thing. It was nice to win it all this year after not capturing the title at last year's camp.
I've become close with a lot of the guys, especially Garrett Pilon. We played together with the Everett Silvertips in the WHL a couple seasons ago. He's a great guy, and it's always good to be around some familiar faces who I have played with growing up. This camp has been nice because I have gotten to see the guys from my draft class, as well as a bunch of new faces. The boys have been getting along pretty well, so there's definitely some good chemistry flowing around this group right now.
We are getting off the ice a bit earlier towards the end of camp than we had in the first couple of days, so I'm going to take my opportunity to go out with the guys to tour Washington a little bit and get to see the city some more. Last time I was here, I didn't really get a good chance to see the city, so I'm pretty amped about going out with the guys and getting a glimpse of what this place has to offer.