WINNIPEG -- Even after a 2014-2015 season that saw Ben Chiarot play 40 games with the Winnipeg Jets, and score his first NHL goal, the 24-year-old defenceman isn’t going into next week’s training camp over confident.
“I think if you have that mentality, that’s when you get into trouble,” he said, following Wednesday’s informal skate at MTS Iceplex. “You have to be hungry every year you come in here, fight for your ice time, fight for your spot, and prove every year that you should be here, and you belong here.”
Chiarot played his first NHL game with the Winnipeg Jets in 2013-2014, and started last season with the team’s AHL affiliate at the time, the St. John’s IceCaps. But once he was called up on December 2, 2014, he was never sent back down. He signed a new two-year contract in June, and can’t wait to get back to work.
“I’m looking forward to camp,” Chiarot said. “I don’t know if nervous is the right word, but you’re not always looking over your shoulder, ‘Am I doing this right? Do I look okay?’ It’s more, you’re confident in your game and what you can do, and knowing what you can do.”
Along with knowing what he can do, Chiarot knows what the deep Winnipeg defensive corps is capable of. In his opinion, that depth is key to constant improvement.
“It’s competition every night for ice time and for responsibility on the ice,” he said. “You have to rise to the occasion and bring your best to the ice every night.”
The first ice session of this season’s training camp is September 18.
-- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com