Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point had a monster rookie campaign with the Bolts, scoring 18 goals and adding 22 assists to rank sixth on Tampa Bay for scoring (40 points).
Point was selected to represent Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, an international competition being held May 5-21 in Germany and France. The 16 teams/countries will be divided into two groups for the Preliminary Round, and the top four ranked teams from each group after preliminary play will advance to the quarterfinals.
Over the course of the next month, Point has agreed to chronicle the tournament through his own eyes, providing a first-hand look at the journey from his hometown of Calgary to Europe, the highlights of representing your country at an international tournament and insight into the games themselves.
We'll post regular journal entries from Point on TampaBayLightning.com throughout the competition, so be sure to check back regularly as the tournament unfolds.
March 28 - Travel day
I leave today for Geneva, Switzerland.
Team Canada is holding a camp in Geneva starting Saturday, April 29. We have a practice that night once everybody gets into town. We'll have a few days in camp there where we're on the ice and training, and then we head over to Paris on May 3. Our first game is May 5 against the Czech Republic.
I've never been to Switzerland before, so I'm really excited. I'm not sure if we're going to get time off or how much time off, but I'm sure if we do, I'll definitely check out some of the sights and the city.
I've played for Team Canada in various competitions throughout my career, but it's still special to be selected. Anytime you get to play for Canada or represent Canada, it's a huge honor and something that I know the guys take very seriously, myself included. I'm looking forward to it. I'm not too sure how my tournament's going to go or how much I'm going to play or if I'm going to play at all, but I'm really excited to be a part of it.
Since the end of the NHL regular season, I've been able to go back home to Calgary and not think about hockey for a little bit, which has been nice. It's been a good break for sure to kind of rest and step away. I've been seeing a lot of family and friends. I've actually gotten to play quite a few rounds of golf already at a local course. Played a bunch with my family and I had a couple buddies come out. Three days ago, I went for a quick skate for the first time just to try to get back into the swing of things. I've been out a couple times since then to get ready for the tournament.
I'm ready to go. This should be a good tournament, and it'll be good to see some friends I've met through Hockey Canada, see Killer and Coop again [editor's note: Lightning teammate Alex Killorn and Bolts head coach Jon Cooper will also represent Team Canada at the tournament]. To have that familiarity with the guys is a great thing and having it with the coaches just kind of makes you feel a little more comfortable.