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A Look at Camp Through the Eyes of Alex Tuch

Rookie hopes to soak up as much as he can from vets before the season

by Alex Tuch @AlexTuch17 / Wild forward

Different players have different views of training camp based on a number of factors. Among them: NHL experience and contract status. has caught up with several Wild players, all with varying approaches to camp. Over the course of the preseason, you'll read about these views in a series entitled "Camp Through Their Eyes," a glimpse into the mind of a professional tryout, a rookie, a veteran, a superstar and a goaltender.

Today, you'll hear from Alex Tuch, a first-year pro who starred for Boston College last season. The Wild's first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, Tuch is battling for a spot with the big club this fall:

 "I was talking to [Wild coordinator of amateur scouting] Guy Lapointe, and he was saying that training camp was five weeks long when he played and that's the time when guys were getting into shape because in the summer time, all they were doing was drinking beer and relaxing. We had body fat testing on the first day of camp.

"The difference between the first game in Traverse City and the last game in Traverse City, not only with my playing ability, but being in game shape was a lot better. The conditioning helped a lot, in-game. Playing a lot of minutes, rolling lines through, everybody got to play a lot. I think everyone is ready to jump into training camp.

"Training camp is a lot more serious than prospect camp. Being a rookie, I just want to come in and see all the pros; see how they react, how they work and go torough it with a level head and that rookie mentality of coming in and working really hard and getting after it. But I still have high expectations and hopefully I sneak my way onto the roster.

"I'm kind of used to being one of the younger guys. Being at Boston College for only two years, I came on as a true freshman, played juniors back at home [in Baldwinsville, N.Y.], I was 15 years old playing with 18, 19, 20-year olds. Even growing up, I played with kids a year older than me for 10 years. I always fit that younger role, I guess you could say.

"In Traverse City, when I got the 'A' on my jersey, it was pretty special because I've never been able to have that, I was never really an older guy on the team. That was really special and really fun. But instead of taking the leadership role [at training camp], I think I'm going to take the rookie role and just reacting to how the pros approach it.

"Because I've now been in a leadership role, I think I'll respect the leaders a lot more than I have in the past because I never understood how much it took to go through each and every game having guys look up to you. It was pretty special [in Traverse City], I really liked the experience. So with guys like Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, I'll definitely be looking up to those guys."

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