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2017 Draft diary: Jake Oettinger

Boston University goaltender on excitement for return to Michigan

by Jake Oettinger / Special to NHL.com

Jake Oettinger, a B-rated prospect on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the 2017 NHL Draft, is a freshman goaltender at Boston University in Hockey East. In seven games he's 4-2-1 with a 1.59 goals-against average and .941 save percentage. Oettinger (6-foot-4, 206 pounds) has offered to maintain a draft diary for NHL.com all season leading to the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago. His November post comes prior to back-to-back games at the University of Michigan on Friday and Saturday.

Hi hockey fans.

We're really looking forward to our games against the University of Michigan this weekend. They might have a little bit more meaning to them since I was in Ann Arbor, Michigan, when I played with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program and some of my best friends are now playing for Michigan. My best friend and former roommate from the NTDP is forward James Sanchez so hopefully he doesn't score. It'll be a great weekend. My old billets will be there and so will my parents, stepmom and little brother and sister. It's a weekend I've had circled on my calendar for a long time and I'm excited for it.

I roomed with Sanchez for two years and we're still really good friends. If he scores this weekend he'll have some bragging rights for years to come, so I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that doesn't happen.

I think I'm gaining more confidence in my abilities right now. Obviously there's a really talented team in front of me and they've made it pretty easy for me. Our penalty kill has been phenomenal. The guys are blocking shots, sacrificing their bodies for me. We have a really talented group of defensemen and forwards who have made my job much easier.

I think right now we're playing well, but every guy in the room knows the team can be a lot better. I know we'll get better throughout the course of the season. The biggest thing with us is that we're a really young team. Gaining more experience and learning every weekend, not allowing the same mistakes to happen twice, are important and something the coaching staff has really stressed.

All the young guys will have to mature really quickly because they're all playing big roles right now.

A strange thing happened to me in our game against Northeastern on Nov. 5 (a 3-0 win), when I took a shot off the skate blade and my skate blade popped out. That never happened to me before but it wasn't that big of a deal since Connor LaCouvee came in and made some big saves to keep the shutout going.

All three goalies on this team are talented and you never know when you need to be ready. Connor was prepared and ready to go at that moment and that's what is expected out of all three of us.

Until next month, thanks for reading everyone.

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