As he gets ready to embark on his fourth Rookie Tournament with the Sens, Francis Perron talks about being a veteran at this camp, bonding with Alex Burrows during the off-season and more.
On being a veteran of the rookie tournament:
It's a huge advantage. I'm not nervous, I know what to expect. I mean for practices, testing, everything, I feel like I'm one step ahead of the other guys and at the same time I can share my experiences with the younger guys. I'm kind of a leader here so I'm just trying to help out the others and at the same time I think it helps me as well
His goal for Rookie Camp:
It's my fourth rookie camp and I want to produce offensively. I have a good attitude and I want to be a good example for the other guys, be a leader, and leave a good impression as I get ready for the main camp. I see this as a good preparation for main camp and be able to show them what I have worked on this summer and get ready for main camp.
On the adjustment of turning pro:
It was different obviously. I had a good start and then some guys were coming back from Ottawa. So I moved down the lines, and then I think my confidence wasn't really there and I wasn't getting the ice time I was expecting. I think it was good though. At the end of the season, I just took a step back and looked at it and I improved a lot. My defensive game, I was making better decisions with the puck in the defensive zone. I was not producing a lot offensively but I think it is something that will come in time. I think this year I will get a bigger role and maybe an offensive role. I think I improved a lot of things last year even though I did not produce a lot.
On dealing with some offensive struggles for the first time:
It wasn't easy because I wasn't used to being off of the score sheet for 10-15 games. I was talking a lot with my family, my dad and my brother helped me out a lot through this. Even the older guys last year helped me a lot through the year mentally to help me stay focused and keep working hard.
On training with Alex Burrows this off-season:
When I had my exit meetings last year, Randy told me he wanted to meet my new trainer and he knew that Alex Burrows was training there. So I went to meet him and we started to become friends. It's kind of weird that he is 15 years older than me (laughs) but still he has become a good friend to me. We've trained together all summer and it's been fun. Training with pro players makes a huge difference.
On the influence of Burrows:
I was training with him and seeing him every day so he was helping me a lot in the gym. Like he mentioned, he is an undrafted guy and he worked really hard to get where he is now. He's been a mentor for me and has helped out all summer. He was a big difference this year.
The Sens Rookies travel to Toronto today as they get set to take on the Montreal Canadiens Rookies on Saturday (Sept. 9th) at 7 p.m. and the Toronto Maple Leafs Rookies on Sunday (Sept. 10th) at 4 p.m. Both games take place at the Ricoh Coliseum.
For more details on Sens Rookie Camp and this weekend's tournament, click here.