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by Chris Ryndak / Buffalo Sabres

Connor Hurley, a second-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, shares his thoughts with as Development Camp continues.

Last year I couldn’t make it to Development Camp, but it’s great being back here. It’s good to see all the new draftees and the guys who have been drafted in past years. There’s so much skill out there and every time you touch the ice, you can make plays. It’s awesome being back.

It’s also nice to see guys like Hudson Fasching again. I’ve been friends with him for a long time. I played with him when I was younger and it’s awesome being here with Cal Petersen, my teammate from Notre Dame. It’s just great seeing familiar faces.

I’m definitely coming back a lot stronger than I was in my first Development Camp in 2013. I’m coming in here, trying to do my best and use the skills I learned during my first year of college. Obviously I’m more mature and trying to polish my game off and be the best player I can be.

I thought my freshman year went all right. I definitely thought it could’ve went a lot better, but this summer is going to be a big summer for me. Coming back next year to Notre Dame, it’s going to be a big challenge, but I think I’m going to do well.

I played on the third line and was kind of a role player in my first year. I took a lot of defensive-zone draws and I didn’t really think that was my game going into the year, but I definitely think I needed to learn that aspect of the game to move forward in my career. That was a good learning process, but now I need to focus on the offensive zone and make my game better there.

This week, I’m really just trying to learn from the coaches. Out there after the practice, getting to work on my faceoffs was a big thing and just getting help from everyone here like learning about nutrition and getting to talk to coach Bylsma – all these people want to help us and we want to get help.

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