Forward Seamus Malone completed his second season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League in 2013-14. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound left-handed shot, who was born in Naperville, Ill., is No. 180 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft. He led the team with 46 points (23 goals, 23 assists) and four shorthanded goals in 55 regular-season games. He also had 12 power-play points and five game-winners. Committed to the University of Wisconsin in 2015-16, Malone has offered to maintain a blog leading up to the 2014 draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
It's nice to be thinking hockey this week during the heat of summer. This week is certainly an exciting one for junior hockey players across the country. The NHL Draft is this weekend in Philadelphia and many fantastic players will have the honor of being drafted into the best hockey League in the world.
Often, I get asked by scouts to describe myself as a player. I'd say I am a two-way forward who is crafty with the puck and strong without it. I take pride in my defensive game and playing on both sides of the puck. Although some describe me as small, I can play bigger than my size. Thanks to the great coaching staff in Dubuque, I feel I continue to improve daily. In my opinion, I really elevated my game late in the season and throughout the postseason, which is a critical time of year.
While the weather outside is great right now, I still find myself inside quite a bit during the summer. So far this offseason I have been on the ice as much as I can, and am doing off-ice workouts almost every day. The summer is tough, but important, as it's a time to get bigger, faster and stronger. I want to continue working all summer long to continuing improving my body and my skills. Obviously there are events like the [Scouting] Combine where you get to work with other prospects and exceptional players, so those always push you to get better as well.
Our season in Dubuque ended just over a month ago and I miss my teammates greatly. After beating Cedar Rapids in the opening round of the playoffs, we fell to [eventual Clark Cup champ] Indiana in the conference finals. They swept us in three games and deserve a lot of credit, as they were a great team. It was tough to lose like that after winning the Clark Cup the season prior, but I have a lot of respect for the players on the Indiana team, as they were tough opponents. I had a lot of great memories from this past season with the guys, dating all the way back to our trip to Russia last August. I look forward to keeping in touch with many of them headed to play college hockey.
As for now, I'm just going into this weekend with an open mind. It would be a dream come true to hear my name called. I'm going to continue to work hard, not worry about this weekend, and get ready to return to Dubuque in the next few months for my third season with the Fighting Saints. I'm already looking forward to starting the year with the new team and having another chance to win a championship.
Thanks as always for reading!
Follow Seamus Malone on Twitter at: @seamus_malone