Jake Oettinger, No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American goaltenders eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft, concluded his freshman season at Boston University in Hockey East. The native of Lakeville, Minnesota, led Hockey East with a 2.09 goals-against average in league games and became the ninth BU goaltender named to a Hockey East All-Star Team. He went 21-11-3 with a 2.11 goals-against average, two shutouts and .927 save percentage in 35 games. 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. His May blog comes after his first day at the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo.
I'm excited to be at the Combine. I think the important thing is just showing teams the type of person I am. I'm a pretty laid back, down-to-earth type of kid who is hard-working. I was chatting with a few former Boston University players who attended the Combine, and the biggest thing they told me was to just be myself. It's going to be a long week but I'm going to go in there, be myself and allow the teams get to know me.
I've done the Wingate cycle bike test (to measure the explosiveness of a skater), but never a VO2 aerobic fitness bike test (to measure endurance). I've heard some rumblings about the VO2, so I'm a little nervous for that but I'm confident and prepared for the physical stuff.
The NHL Draft excites me. To be drafted has been a dream of mine since I first put on the skates. Hearing that I could potentially be selected in the first round would be even more of a dream come true; I don't think it adds any more pressure, it just adds a bit more excitement. I'm going into the draft with an open mind and no expectations. Whatever happens, I'll be extremely excited and grateful.
Personally, I thought I had a good year at Boston University. As a team we fell short of the goals we set and a lot of us, including myself, learned just how hard it is to win championships at the college level. I think it's more motivation this summer for a lot of guys to complete those goals and dreams of winning the Beanpot Tournament, Hockey East, and then winning the NCAA regional and Frozen Four. These are goals that every guy in our locker room has. We'll have to dig deep and remember the feeling of watching Harvard raise the Beanpot or watching the University of Denver win the national title on television when we were in our dorms. We have to use them as motivation to push us next season.
I have a lot of unfinished business at BU as well. I know that all the work I put in this summer on and off the ice will translate into our team success next year. I'll have a lot bigger leadership part with the team and I'm looking forward to fulfilling that role.
Well, that's a wrap for now. I'll have another draft diary at the conclusion of the Combine.