Being a member of the USA Hockey Atlantic District Player Development Program since I was 11, and going through their camps has taught me a lot valuable lessons as well as teaching me about myself as a hockey player. In my age groups first year of the camp, 100 kids in the Atlantic District were selected to try out for the Peewee Quebec team. there were 3 stages you could've been cut from. I made it to the final stage and did some damage in that stage, but I was one of 20 kids who didn't make the team. I didn't make the team because I was too small, but I stayed with it and really started to take my training seriously. The next three years the camp got much harder for me. Most of the kids around me naturally got bigger, faster, and stronger, I didn't. At the camp when I was 12, I had the Flu so I fell behind even more than I already was due to the development of the other kids, I didn't make the final camp because I was too small, but I stayed with it and kept working hard. The next year I pulled my left groin a week before the camp, and was on the bubble, but was cut to go to the next festival because I was too small, but I stayed with it and continued to work hard. The following year I pulled my right groin a week before the camp, Had a solid camp, but was cut because I was too small but I stayed with it. The summer after that camp was a turning point, I had enough of being too small, a fire grew in me, so I pushed myself beyond my limits in the gym, on the ice and at home to become a better hockey player. Over that summer and a little bit into the fall I grew half a foot and packed on 30 pounds of muscle, had a good season and made some changes to my game. When that years camp was over I finished second on my team in scoring behind someone who is already committed to playing D1 hockey. I still didn't make the National festival.
My experience in the program is something I'm thankful for, because it gave me a desire, a desire I use in hockey, soccer, baseball and in my academics. A desire to be the most skilled, hardworking, in your face, annoying, determined and smartest player on the ice, in the field, at the plate and (student) in the classroom.
How can I help your team? Like I said above, I bring a desire to work hard and improve my game. I can change the type of player I am depending on what the situation requires. If the game is a physical battle, I can be a physical presence, i'll go in the dirty areas and battle, I can take hits as well as dish them out, I'm strong for my size so I surprise guys, I don't let my size hold me back. If its more of a back and forth game where offense is what the team needs, I can make plays happen, score a goal, I have excellent hands, a good shot, great vision, and a nose for the goal, I can make that pass through a seam and set guys up with great scoring chances. If my team is up a goal and we need a guy who can block shots win battles and play more of a defensive style, I will. I take pride in blocking shots. I will always get under the other teams skin no matter what, thats engrained in me. I am the biggest guy's on the other teams least favorite player to play against. I am a very good on the PK and I can quarterback the PP from the point and work the half-wall as well as down low or in-front of the net. I am both a quick and fast player, I can change direction quick and catch guys on the back check. I can be put out in all situations. I have lots of leadership qualities and love being in my leadership role on my team as an assistant captain. Most importantly I love the game of hockey, every aspect of it both on and off the ice. I love seeing my skating, shooting and stick-handling improve because I woke up at 5:30am to work out before school. Whenever I get free time and i'm not training, nine times out of ten i'm looking at something hockey related. I know that I have what it takes to play at the collegiate level, I am willing to do all the things necessary to get to that level.