Noah Hanifin, who was given an A rating on NHL Central Scouting's November players to watch list, is a freshman at Boston College in Hockey East. The 6-foot-3, 203-pound defenseman, who has two goals and seven points in 17 games for the Eagles this season, was one of 30 players invited to the United States National Junior Team selection camp on the campus of Boston University from Dec. 16-19. He had eight goals and 33 points in 45 games for the United States Under-18 National Team Development Program in 2013-14. Hanifin, considered by many to be the best defenseman available at the 2015 NHL Draft, had one goal and five points for the United States at the IIHF 2014 World U-18 Championship. The native of Norwood, Mass., has offered to maintain a blog for NHL.com leading up to the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla.
Hello hockey fans!
Well, I'm crafting this blog right outside the locker room following our 5-2 win against Boston University. It was our first exhibition game so we were just trying to get out there, work on systems and we wanted to move the puck quick because that's how you develop chemistry. That was one of the areas we really focused on. We just wanted to move it up to the forwards and get that chemistry going.
WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
The 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship will be held Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 at Bell Centre in Montreal and Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
I know it had to be a strange feeling for Jack (Eichel) since he was playing against his teammates. He's a confident kid and it was kind of funny just watching him prepare for this, but he played a heck of a game.
I thought my game was pretty strong. I have things I need to work on but the thing is when you play a team with that many talented players, it makes it easier for everyone. I just need to do my job, stay in position and make the good pass and things will be fine.
I was happy I was able to contribute on the scoresheet with a shorthanded goal in the first period. Chase (De Leo) made an unbelievable play. I saw the defenseman fumble the puck a little bit and it was kind of a 1-on-1 down low. Chase made a great play to get the puck to me and I just tipped it in. I haven't scored many shorthanded goals in my career; that may have been my only one.
After we took a 4-1 lead, Boston University really battled back hard. That was good in a way because it forced us to bear down as a group and we needed to deal with adversity. In the World Juniors, you are going to be put in those types of situations and you need to battle. It was good to see how we reacted. We started to play well in the defensive zone; it was good experience moving forward.
I thought it was really cool when Jack joined his teammates at the end of the game to salute the Boston University student body in the players' circle. You don't get to play against your college team too often in your life and it was good to see him embrace that with his teammates at BU.
Right now, I have my fingers crossed that I hopefully survive the cuts and can join the team in the next phase of the camp. If I do make it, I know I'll need to bring my A game. Hopefully, our team develops more chemistry before the tournament starts.
Follow Noah Hanifin on Twitter at @nhanifin