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Camp Diary: Huglen on his draft day, expectations for camp

by Aaron Huglen @aaronhuglen_8 /

I was surrounded by my family and teammates when I got the call. 

We were hanging out at my house in Roseau, Minnesota, watching the draft and waiting to hear my name. I had a good feeling about the Sabres - I had met with their staff a couple of times leading up to the draft and they told me they liked me a lot. They even said it'd be great if they could draft me. 

When they traded up to pick me in the fourth round, it was pretty special. The call came from Steve Greeley, Buffalo's assistant GM. He congratulated me, asked how I was feeling, and said he would arrange for me to get to Buffalo for development camp.

And, well, here I am. 

It's a bummer that I'm not able to skate this week because of an injury, but I'm already so impressed with the organization. The facilities are amazing. And, judging from the first day of practice, there are so many skilled players here. 

We were able to hear from Ralph Krueger on Tuesday night. He told us that everyone is here to help, just use all the available resources and learn. This camp isn't so much about evaluation, it's more just learning what the organization's about. 

Video: Ralph Krueger addresses prospects at development camp

That speech was really comforting, knowing everyone's here to help. It's how I'll spend my week - rehabbing my injury, getting to know everyone and learning a bit about what it means to be a pro. 

At the same time, being here reminds me of the people who helped me reach this point. It was so important for me to be with my Roseau teammates when I got the call from the Sabres because they're a major reason I am where I am. 

I decided to split last season between my senior year at Roseau and playing for Fargo in the USHL. People have asked if it was a tough decision, going back to high school. It really wasn't. It was always in my plans, being with my teammates for one last run at the state championship. 

I remember growing up and watching Aaron Ness win at Roseau and wanting to follow in his footsteps. It didn't happen, but it was worth it to carry on the Roseau tradition. I imagine Casey Mittelstadt felt the same way when he went back for his senior year at Eden Prairie. 

I'll never forget being drafted and sharing that special moment with my teammates. I'm excited for what's next. 

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