(Left-winger Matt Puempel of the Peterborough Petes was one of three first-round picks by the Senators in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. He’ll be sharing some thoughts about participating in his first Sens development camp in a series of blog posts for ottawasenators.com).
Development camp ended today with a 3-on-3 tournament, but the coaches decided to keep me out of it because they’re being careful about my hip. Although I’d rather have been out there, what they told me is it’s not too, too important to rush it. It felt great skating yesterday and obviously, I’d like to have been a part of it. The guys seemed like they’re having fun out there and it was fun to watch, too.
I can definitely say I’m leaving this camp with some new friends to stay in touch with from now on. Being with guys that much in a week, you get to know a lot of them, find out what they’re like and you get to know their personalities and stuff. You definitely meet a lot of new people and learn a lot of things about them. It's something that I’ve definitely enjoyed doing throughout this week.
Just how much I’ve learned this week is what made it pretty special. As I’ve said before, this is my first look at how everything works up here and it’s an eye opener. A lot of stuff is pretty simple and hard work is what matters the most. It’s about the quality of your workouts and the technique you use. The things they’ve given me are probably more specific to me than any other player.
I’m off to Canada’s world junior team summer camp on Aug. 2. It’s a date that’s definitely been circled on my calendar for a long time. World juniors are so huge around Canada during that time of year. We don’t just think of it as Christmas time around here, it’s also world junior time as well. That’s how we see it in Canada. And the tournament’s in Canada this year, so I’m going to do everything I can to make that team. I know I’ll learn a lot of things when I get there and I’m going to try to enjoy it as much as possible.
Thanks to everyone who has been reading my blog this week. I’ve enjoyed sharing my thoughts about my first experience with the Senators and I’m looking forward to being a part of it all in the future.