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. The native of Lakeville, Minnesota, last season went 25-8-1 with a 2.38 goals-against average and .908 save percentage in 37 games for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Under-18 team. Oettinger (6-foot-4, 212 pounds) has offered to maintain a blog for NHL.com all season leading up to the 2017 draft in Chicago. In three games, Oettinger is 1-2-0 with a 2.38 GAA and .920 save percentage.
Hello hockey fans. My name is Jake Oettinger and I'm a freshman goalie at Boston University.
As a kid born and raised in Minnesota, I've loved my time in Boston so far. It was definitely nice being out here in the summer for six weeks, just getting to know the guys, the coaches, the workouts and the area. I think that enabled me to gain a little more experience entering the fall season. It's nice knowing all the freshmen; I love being in the big city where there's a lot happening all the time.
It feels great to have that trust right away from the coaches and to be able to play those first three games. Getting my first college win on the road against Colgate on Oct. 8 was something I'll remember for a long time. It was a good win for our team to start the season. Getting swept on the road against the University of Denver in our next two games was tough but there were a lot of positives we took from the weekend. I think that we're just going to learn what we can from it and move on.
Coach David Quinn just wants me to keep learning every game and not allow the same mistakes to happen twice. For me, it's about getting a little bit more experience and feeling more comfortable each game. I just need to take advantage of every start I get and make the most of the opportunity.
The biggest adjustment is just being able to keep up with the pace. There are bigger guys in college so you need to manage all the traffic and the stuff in front. I need to try and establish a plan for every game and know how I will read different situations. I think with more playing time I'll be able to see a lot more different situations and react and exhibit more comfort in those situations.
I've had a great relationship with the other two goalies here, sophomore Max Prawdzik and junior Connor Lacouvee. They've been supportive and are great guys so it's nice getting to know them. They're both really talented and the three of us push each other every day to be better. If one of us doesn't get the job done, the other two are more than capable of stepping in and doing a good job.
Brian Eklund is my goalie coach. It's his first year at BU after spending three seasons at Harvard, and he's been huge for my game. He's a guy who had experience in the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2005-06) and he's a tall goalie (6-4), so our games are similar. It's nice having a guy like that who can be with me every day. He's really flexible when it comes to goalie skates and workouts. It's great having him here and I'm really excited for the next couple of years, just having him help me improve as a player.
Thanks for reading and check back next month for another update on how things are going in Beantown.