Jake Oettinger, recognized on NHL Central Scouting's Futures List of players eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft, is a freshman goaltender at Boston University in Hockey East. Last season, the native of Lakeville, Minn., finished 25-9-0 with a 2.38 goals-against average and .908 save percentage in 37 games for USA Hockey's Under-18 National Team Development Program in Plymouth, Mich. Oettinger (6-foot-4, 206 pounds) has offered to maintain a blog for NHL.com all season, leading up to the 2017 draft. His first report comes after making 12 saves in a 6-4 win by Team John LeClair against Team Mark Howe in the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in Philadelphia on Thursday.
Hello hockey fans,
I arrived in Philadelphia about 2 p.m. on Wednesday and met up with my friend, Ryan Poehling, who's also from Lakeville (and a center at St. Cloud State). It was great to see him since I hadn't seen him in a long time. The Philadelphia Flyers and USA Hockey provided a great dinner for all of us and we appreciated that. On top of that, my dad [Chris] was also here on Wednesday, so we caught up and that was great, since I hadn't seen him in a while.
On Thursday morning, we woke up at 8 a.m., had breakfast, came over to the rink and had the morning skate. Everyone was really excited to see what was going on and meet our coaches, John LeClair and Mark Howe. After the skate, we went back to the hotel and I attempted to get into my normal pregame routine by taking a nap before busing back to the arena. I felt we were all mentally ready for the game.
Stepping onto the ice at Wells Fargo Center for the pregame skate was just fantastic. The whole experience was so memorable, and I can't thank USA Hockey and CCM enough for the past couple of days, catching up with all my buddies. The game was tremendous. It's always nice to win, so that was an added bonus.
I thought we dominated in the first period, but in the second we kind of got away from what made us successful in the first. In the third period, coach LeClair harped on just getting back to what we were doing in the first, and that's really what we did. I know the boys were fired up.
Coach LeClair was great in the locker room. I have so much respect for the career he had. It was really fun sitting there and listening to the stuff he had to say because he knows so much about the game and he had a great career. I was just trying to take in every little thing he was saying and will try and implement the advice into my routine.
I'm excited to get started at Boston University. Next week we will prep for our first exhibition game on Oct. 1 (against Prince Edward Island), and get into game form and get ready for the regular season in Hockey East.
I think, for me, I'm going to have an opportunity to play right away and I need to take that opportunity and run with it.
Whenever my name is called, I'm going to have to be ready to bring my A game, so I think in these next couple of weeks of practice and the couple of exhibition games, I need to treat every second as if it were a regular-season game and bring intensity and that work ethic that I pride myself on at practice and games. I think in the next couple of weeks I should be ready to go, and I'm really excited for the opportunity to play with the team we have this season.
Thanks for reading. Until next month,