It's exciting. It puts a smile on your face. You know that the work you put in is getting you somewhere. - Patrick Sieloff on playing his first NHL pre-season game
CALGARY, AB -- From watching his first couple of intrasquad games at the Calgary Flames training camp, you wouldn't guess this is Patrick Sieloff's first full-fledged experience at an NHL camp.
The 19-year-old has carried his strong play at the Young Stars Classic into main camp, looking poised and steady on the blueline. He hasn't looked nervous at all and has logged a ton of minutes
Sieloff has also managed to get under the skin of a few of his teammates in his opening two intrasquad games thanks to his in-your-face, hit-everything-in-sight style of play.
Curtis Glencross, after getting slammed against the boards of couple times, made sure give the youngster a whack or two whenever they were in each other's vicinity. Carter Bancks went through the same ordeal as Glencross, being sent flying into the glass more than once, and hasn't hesitated to shove and jostle the blueliner whenever he gets an opportunity.
"I'm feeling pretty comfortable," he told CalgaryFlames.com. "On Thursday, I took a couple of shifts to get into the game, see how they play here, and settled in.
"I've carried over what I got from (the first game) and feel pretty good."
As for his pesty, intense nature in intrasquad games and practices?
"It's how I play my game," he stated. "If I don't play that way, I'm not going to be successful. Bottom line."
The biggest adjustment Sieloff has had to make is his reaction time. He has spent the last three seasons playing in the USHL and OHL and while there are plenty of speedy players in each league, they take longer to make decisions with the puck and read plays.
"Guys here are smarter. It's not that it's faster - maybe one step faster - but guys are just smarter with the puck. You have be on your toes when you're out there because anything could happen.
"You have to focus."
Sieloff's take-no-prisoners attitude will come in handy tonight in the first edition of the 2013 Battle of Alberta. The Flames start the pre-season with split squad games against the Oilers, with Calgary's game beginning at 7:00 PM MT and Edmonton's game starting at 8:00 PM MT, and Sieloff will be a part of the first game in the Scotiabank Saddledome since the flood.
"It's exciting," he said, elation evident in his tone. "It puts a smile on your face. You know that the work you put in is getting you somewhere.
"The nerves are going to be going a little bit but you've got to get them out of you as quick as can and get going."
Sieloff was the Flames second round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. The Flames signed him to a three-year entry-level deal on July 19.