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by Chris Ryndak / Buffalo Sabres
(Photo Credit: Bill Wippert)

Forward Evan Rodrigues shared his thoughts with following the first on-ice practice of Development Camp at First Niagara Center.

The first day of Development Camp has been good. We started off early. We had all of our physicals and blood work to do in the morning and then we had quick meetings, some off-ice testing and then lunch. Now we’re getting after it with an on-ice practice and more off-ice workouts.

The coaches have been real friendly to all of us. They set clear goals. They told us the rules and exactly what they expect this week. It’s simple to follow and essentially, you’ve just got to come out here and work as hard as you can. Then you just have to prove yourself and show them what you’ve got.

I’ve been skating a little bit – a few times a week – but it’s been the first time in a while at this pace and going as hard as you can. I felt good. I wasn’t gasping for air or anything and it was definitely a good first session with all-new equipment.

This week, I’m most looking forward to just getting on the ice every day – getting back into the swing of things and seeing how I match up against everyone else. I’m skating with a great group of talent and it’ll be a fun week. I’m looking forward to it.

I’m going 110 percent every time I hit the ice. I’m going until I can’t go anymore and trying to show everyone that’s here what I’m capable of and that I can play at the next level.

I’ve skated with Jack Eichel a couple of times already during the summer and I’ve seen him a few times at Boston University working out. We’ve been in touch, but it was good to skate with him again. He’s a great guy. He’s always up and as a young kid (he’s only 18), he’s always got energy and he brings a fun attitude to the rink every day.

Once camp wraps up, I’ll continue what I’m doing. I’m working at a goalie school and I’ll keep working out and getting on the ice to improve my skating. I’m committing myself to hockey and I’m going to do that until the season starts in September.

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