After today's on-ice session at Development Camp wrapped up, we spent some time with Sens defensive prospect Christian Wolanin to talk about last night's scrimmage, spending Canada Day downtown and more.
On the pace of last night's scrimmage:
Just from the start of camp, the coaches, the GMs and all the guys who are high up in the organization came in with a more aggressive mentality and a more pro-like mentality than last year. Not that they weren't pro-like last year but there was definitely more of a serious tone to all the meetings. I think that carried over to the scrimmage. The intensity was up and it was a good game.
On developing chemistry with the other prospects:
We're all here for a reason and we can all play hockey. I was paired with Cody Donaghey last night so obviously I don't know all his tendencies and what he likes to do but you can learn pretty quickly. By the second half, we were able to play off each other a little more. But like I said, we're all here for the right reason and we all deserve to be here so it's just a matter of time before we get a little bit of chemistry and mesh a little bit better together.
His thoughts on his play during the scrimmage:
We didn't win and that's what's most important to me even though it's just a scrimmage. It's always nice to be on the winning side but I thought I played pretty well. I wanted to show that I can play a little bit of defence even though my game is more offensive so I'm pretty happy with my performance and I just wish we had gotten the win.
On how this year's Development Camp is different from him:
It's just the knowledge and experience that's huge. I have a great relationship with Shean Donovan our Player Development coach now too. He called me before camp and said "It's your second year so you have to come in with more of a leadership mentality and help the young guys out. You know what to expect so show up in this kind of shape". That type of experience is huge and I think it played a big part in my camp so far.
On spending Canada Day 150 in downtown Ottawa:
I've been talking with the locals here and I guess they're expecting 500,000 people or however many people are supposed to be there. Last year, we were here for Canada Day as well so it's cool that we get to experience that and with me being a dual citizen, I rarely get to spend a lot of my Canada Days in Canada. It's great that I get to this year on the 150th anniversary. It should be a cool experience.
On what Canadian "thing" he'd like to transplant back to America:
Hockey...hockey as a whole. America is more about their football, their baseball, their basketball so hockey takes a backseat. It's nice to come here and you turn on TSN in Canada and it's all hockey highlights and they're talking about trades and then you go back to the States and ESPN might talk about hockey twice a year. It's cool to see that hockey is so popular here and so dominant in the sports culture. Staying away from sports, I'd say poutine. My mom brought it back from Quebec and I make it for my boys at North Dakota but it's not very popular anywhere else.
On watching the Sens run in the playoffs this year:
It was awesome. Whether it be the story of Craig Anderson and his wife going through everything they did and the guys surrounding him and being there for him was an awesome story or to see them prove everyone wrong. I don't think anybody saw the Sens ending up where they ended up and they deserved to be exactly where they were. They showed what they were about bringing Pittsburgh to a Game 7. Coach Guy Boucher said that they put this team on the map and it's only a matter of time before it's a consistent thing like that for the Senators.
On how he feels he fits in with the coaching staff's mentality here in Ottawa:
Last year, they were new and it was all talk and it was all planning. Obviously, in their first year they showed that their "plan" was going to be an "action". As a prospect, I think it's what you want to see. You want to see that the team that drafted you and has invested in you is a team on the rise and has a positive future ahead of them. It'd be a blessing to be a part of it.
On what he's looking to show management this week at Development Camp:
I just want to show that I've developed and that I'm going to continue to develop. I'm going back to college next season for my Junior year so I have a whole year to develop my skills and get better defensively and offensively. I want to show them that I am continuously getting better and working on every little part of my game to eventually become a pro here.