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Sarnia's Chychrun discusses World Jr. Championship

by Jakob Chychrun

Jakob Chychrun, an A rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's November 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 has five goals, 24 points, and a plus-10 rating in 33 games 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.

Hello hockey fans and Happy New Year.

To begin I'd like to thank Hockey Canada for the invitation to the national selection camp in Toronto last month. It was a great experience and it was definitely tough having to watch it this year (after being cut from the team) but I took everything I could out of the camp. I tried to turn it all into a positive experience. I think in a situation like that it's more beneficial to take the positive away from the camp instead of the negative. It was definitely cool to get a taste of what it's like and hopefully I'll be back again there one day.

 Jakob Chychrun Sarnia Sting (Metcalfe Photography)

Before the camp the coaching staff told me they wanted to see the physical aspects of my game and at the end of the camp they thanked me for coming and being a professional and a leader. There was a security guard working the camp who actually works with London in the OHL, and he told me a story of Corey Perry being in my situation, getting cut as a 17-year-old. He said Perry has obviously gone on to do pretty well for himself.

I'm definitely motivated after that experience. My goal next year is to play in the NHL and I think for me if it comes to that situation where I'm playing in the NHL it'd be awesome to stick around, but if I was invited to the select camp and have the opportunity to play in that tournament in front of Canadian fans in Montreal and Toronto at the 2017 World Juniors, it would be special. To put on that Canada jersey in front of the whole nation would be very memorable.

I watched almost all the games of the World Junior Championship. I think Canada definitely had a chance to make a run but I think it was tough playing overseas (in Finland). I really feel that if that team was going to win, it would have had to come by way of a gritty, hard-working style. I think it was unfortunate that they needed that style because obviously it's a different game overseas and they got into penalty trouble and that hurt.

I thought [Canada] had a chance. It was fun to watch that big Finnish team and that skilled Swedish team and the Americans had a disappointing loss against Russia.

New Year's was fun. We had a few games in Sarnia before New Year's (on Dec. 28 and Dec. 31) and the team went to the home of one of the older guys on the team and hung around on New Year's Day but we had a game on Jan. 2 so we couldn't stay up too late. It was fun to be with teammates and my family. I was with my sister (Taylor) the whole Christmas break since I don't see her often because she's away at school, so it was good to see her and my parents and good to have some family time.

As far as our season goes in Sarnia, I definitely feel there's more to offer. Leading up the World Junior Championship, it's kind of weird because many players in our league are gone representing their country at the tournament.

I missed a couple of games because of select camp and Pavel Zacha was gone for a while since he played for the Czech Republic. It's tough losing a big guy like [Zacha] but you have to deal with the circumstances. With the OHL trade deadline [on Jan. 11] it'll be good to get that over with and maybe even add one or two more pieces to be able to settle in for a second-half run. That's something we're more than capable of doing.

Follow Jakob Chychrun on Twitter at: @j_chychrun7

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