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IN HIS OWN WORDS: BORGEN ON HIS WHIRLWIND YEAR

by Will Borgen / Buffalo Sabres

Defenseman William Borgen has had a whirlwind of a year since being selected by the Sabres in the fourth round of the 2015 Draft. Not only did he play 37 games in his first collegiate season at St. Cloud State, he also played a key role for Team USA at the World Junior Championship in Finland.

Borgen shared a bit about his past year with Sabres.com on Thursday.

I really had no idea what to expect going into World Juniors. My coaches told me one night after a game that I'd be going to the camp. I felt pretty comfortable, but I had no idea whether I'd make the team or not because a lot of the guys there had already played for the program.

Honestly, playing with such great players at St. Cloud might have been what set me apart. We had so many leaders, a lot of seniors that helped us out a lot. It helped me mature my game. Our team won a lot of tournaments, the best of which was probably NCAC. We did lose in the NCAA tournament, which was a tough ending, but even that helped me a lot.

The year before, I was still playing at Moorhead High School in Minnesota. Going from high school to college, you go from playing kids your own age or younger to playing against grown men, 25 year olds. You're playing against stronger guys and it's a faster pace. You learn you have to grown up on the ice a little bit.

I became a little more defensive than I was in high school. In high school I was all over, but I turned into more of a puck-moving defenseman trying to get it up to the forwards. In college they do the work up there in offense, so I can play my role more on the defensive end.

Then when I went to play internationally, it was super fast. It was kind of similar to college – the kids are closer to your own age, but they're more talented. Winning the bronze medal there for Team USA was amazing. It's fun to come home with some hardware.

This next week for me is all about learning. You learn a lot of new stuff and there are things you need to work on constantly. Plus you get a chance to learn the Sabres' systems, so it's going to be another good experience.

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