Sens prospect Matt O'Connor answers 7 questions about Development Camp, his mindset for his first pro season and more...
His thoughts on the 2015 Sens Development Camp:
It was great to get more comfortable with the organization and I think as a goalie that can really help you. When you feel the medical staff, the equipment staff, coaching staff, development staff, goalie coach...when everyone is on board to try and get you ready for the National Hockey League, it's really motivating and really inspiring. That's one of the best ways to do it and I think that's why the Ottawa Senators have success. Players really feel like they are taken care of and that they owe it to the organization to work hard. It's a great culture to be a part of and I'm really looking forward to working on my game over the summer.
On his highlight from camp:
There was a lot of fun events. I loved the Spartan Race actually. Everyone really found it difficult and I did as well but just being outdoors, having that challenge and being able to cross that finish line was pretty satisfying. We had a lot of fun rolling around in the mud and coming together as a bunch of prospects so that was a big highlight for me. And obviously the Red Blacks game was a ton of fun. Seeing them get the "W" and it was a pretty awesome atmosphere. I had never been to a CFL game so it was pretty special. We definitely had a lot of fun. A lot of the signed players really gelled together and that's to me what was so special about this week. I got to meet a lot of really elite prospects and get to know them well.
On the biggest thing he took away after Dev Camp:
"Eyes first. Middle first. Shoulder first and down with the save." I've talked with Driegs about it and we've memorized Wamsley's coaching style and it seriously makes the game a lot easier. We looked at a lot of great video of Hammond and there are so many things he does well to build off of. That's something that Drieger and I want to apply in Binghamton. I think the biggest takeaways for the goalies was working with Wamsley this week. Second, would be learning about recovery. And third was just being in this culture, getting to know the organization and meeting all the future players that you're going to hopefully play with.
On the first thing he's going to do when he gets back home:
I'm going to continue to work on my game. This summer is huge for me. Being a guy who hasn't played a pro game yet and is seen with a lot of potential...it's very motivating. This is an unbelievable opportunity for me to make a big sacrifice this summer and really put a lot of work in on the ice, in the weight room and even working on my mental game which is something I'm focusing on now.
His plans for the rest of the summer:
It's strictly training. Some people say that the off-season can be harder than the season and those are usually players that make huge gains in the off-season. It's going to be a great summer of training but it's also really nice to enjoy the amazing weather in Canada. Hopefully I can get up to some lake houses and have some time in the water as well.
On players he skates with in the off-season:
I'm sort of in my "find out my network" as I move forward here. I know Coach Richardson actually has some ice here in Ottawa so if I'm in town I'll be able to skate with some of his guys. There are tons of opportunities to skate as a goalie, right? It's going to be a great time for me to network, build my network for the summer and just enjoy it. Enjoy this off-season as it is and not look too far past that.
On looking forward to next season:
I want to show the organization that I'm ready to play. So if there's a need for me, that it's an opportunity for me to prove myself. It'd be great if I can just develop in Binghamton and just be ready to play. I think that's all you can ask for from any organization. I really just need to be confident, be the kind of pro goalie that they see in me. That way, it will help give them a lot of comfort in the goalie department moving on to this next year.
You can follow Matt on Twitter for more updates here.