Jakob Chychrun, an A rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's September players to watch list for the 2016 NHL Draft, is in his second season with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound defenseman had 16 goals and 33 points in 42 games as a rookie with the Sting in 2014-15. He has three goals, 11 points, in 15 games (9-5-1) this season. Born in Boca Raton, Fla., Chychrun is the son of former NHL player Jeff Chychrun. He has offered to maintain a blog for NHL.com leading up to the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo, N.Y. This week's post comes prior to two games in three days this weekend.
Hello again everyone.
I'm really looking forward to representing the Ontario Hockey League in the Subway Super Series against Russia in Windsor, Ont. (on Nov. 16).
I've been watching these games for a few years now and it's very good hockey. I looked at the rosters and there's going to be lots of good talent on our team and the Russian team. I know almost all the guys and played with or against them a lot in the past. It's definitely going to be a fun experience. It's an honor to be able to represent the Canadian Hockey League and there are definitely great battles against Russia every year; I can't wait for that night in Windsor.
We had a bit of a rough stretch last weekend with losses to Niagara and Erie, a couple of very good teams in our league. I think we might have underestimated them a little bit and weren't able to come away with any points, so this is a big weekend for us (against Flint on Friday and Saginaw on Sunday). Our team is coming together nicely. We had another addition this week in Davis Brown, who was in Sweden (with Sollentuna HC), but is back now and was at practice [on Thursday] for the first time.
So the chemistry is getting better every day and I think that's one of the biggest things, finding the right pieces to the puzzle.
I feel one way to avoid inconsistency during a season is preparation. I've always made it a point to make sure I was prepared for games. It starts at the beginning of the week at practice and making sure you're always listening to details because details are huge. That's the one thing we've been focused on this week; details in practice that will help us be more prepared to win. I think at times when we're winning everything is great and we can tend to get a little loose in the room and that's when I find I might have to step in and make sure we're prepared. Every point this early in the season is so valuable down the road.
We lost a tough game to Flint earlier in the season, losing in their barn (3-2 on Oct. 10). We had a pretty tough call against us that allowed Flint a penalty shot in overtime in that game, so we're looking forward to Friday and maybe getting a little revenge there.
It's been tough reading about the recent injuries to (2016 NHL Draft eligible center) Auston Matthews (in Switzerland) and (Edmonton Oilers center) Connor McDavid. You never like to see that. The thing is you never know what's going to happen. You're so grateful for staying healthy when you're healthy and I think it's something you can't take for granted.
I focus so much every day on doing maintenance on my body and doing everything I can to just be prepared for a long season. Injuries are not something I think about during a game, but when you're away from the ice it's something you think about and I do injury-prevention stuff each day in the gym with my trainer. Even before putting together this blog post, I came from the gym, working on my shoulders, doing lower-body stretches and treatment with the trainer.
I had to miss representing my country last year because of my shoulder injury and it definitely stinks. When you've experienced an injury, you're going to do everything in your power to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Thanks for reading this month.
Follow Jakob Chychrun on Twitter at: @j_chychrun7