Jake Oettinger, a B rated prospect on NHL Central Scouting's players to watch list for the 2017 NHL Draft, is a freshman goaltender at Boston University in Hockey East. The native of Lakeville, Minnesota, is 8-5 with two ties, a 1.87 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in 15 games for the Terriers. Oettinger (6-foot-4, 206 pounds) has offered to maintain a blog for NHL.com leading up to the 2017 draft in Chicago. His January blog comes after serving as the third goalie for the gold medal-winning U.S. national junior team at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal.
It's been an extraordinary tournament and something I'll never forget.
For me, it's basically been a learning experience. I learned a lot of valuable lessons these last couple of weeks that I know I'll take forward with me. It's basically my job to support the guys and anything I could help with. I felt it was my job to do that. If it meant players wanting extra shots or the goalies wanted to take less or more shots, I'm there and just trying to be there for the team and whatever they need me to do.
I feel as though I was an extra support system. I just think in practice if there's drills that they do want to do or don't want to do, I just make it a stressing point that I'm there to come in or stay out, whatever they want to do. It just helps them prepare and I wanted to make sure I could do my part knowing they're ready to go game time.
When I was named to the team, I obviously came here and wanted to play. I'm a competitive guy and I always want to be in the net, but there's nothing I could do with that situation and I was just grateful to be a part of the team and experience this with such a great group of guys.
I think just handling myself like a pro and handling the situation like a pro was something I made sure I did. All I could do was make sure that if my name was called, I was ready to go. I felt like the morning skates and workouts with the team helped me stay sharp and be prepared, because in tournaments like this, you never know what could happen. So just handling myself like a pro and making sure I was sharp was the only thing I could control.
I thought goalie coach Kris Mayotte was a huge help. He just kept me sharp, and obviously we got to know each other pretty well. He was really fun to work with and get to know.
Reaching the gold medal game was fantastic. Winning was unbelievable. I think that's why we're all here and I couldn't [have rooted] any harder for [goalies Tyler Parsons and Joseph Woll] and the rest of the guys to pull through. I think if there's a group that was able to do it, it was this one.