After working with Garret and the staff of the GGSU Legends Camp for the past 2 summers, I must say that Legends Camp is by far the most entertaining and fun camp I have ever been apart of and I have been coaching goalies in the summer over the past 7 years. It is definitely worth the weeks away from my own summer training to be on the ice with guys that are as passionate about the position as I am, and as excited about the gear as kids on Christmas day. I feel like I know quite a bit about the position due to my experience as a player and as a coach it is put to good use with people that are willing to learn while having fun. GGSU is a different world; it is not the typical hockey camp where kids are entered by their parents and aren’t always open to new information or willing to work hard. The students at GGSU Legends Camps are guys & girls that are brought together by the love of the position and desire to learn.
For those who don’t know much about me and where I have played throughout my hockey career, here is a bit about myself. I am currently playing in the CIS (now called U sports), which is University hockey in Canada for the Carleton Ravens. University hockey is different from the NCAA in a few ways: the players in this league are too old to play junior hockey. This means that we are 21 years old or older. Some of us have pro hockey experience, some came straight from juniors. You are eligible to play for 5 years, but every year of pro experience takes one year of eligibility away.
I ended up in the CIS after playing 4 years in the QMJHL. I played three years for the Quebec City Remparts for Patrick Roy (ask me about him at camp), and my final year split between the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and the Gatineau Olympiques. I happened to score a goal in both uniforms that year. My ability to play the puck is a talent I've always taken pride in as I recorded 2 goals and 14 assists in my QMJHL career.
I was drafted in the NHL in 2012 by the Ottawa Senators. After 2 years in their system, I was not offered an entry level contract. I also attended the Buffalo Sabres main camp in 2014, but went back to play in Cape Breton for my last season of Major Junior. Over my QMJHL career I took part in the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence Goaltending Camp in 2012 as well as the Subway Super Series against Russia as part of Team QMJHL.
My jump to pro hockey was a bumpy ride, as I had changed agents at a critical time in the summer & was not on anyones radar in the top 3 leagues. I finally found a team in the Peoria Rivermen of the SPHL, but after half a season I decided it was better for my development and career to come back to school and play in the CIS.
The transition from playing pro hockey and going back to school was not easy. I am still getting used to it now after being a year into it. The financial aspect is definitely the one thing that changed my lifestyle the most. I have no income from playing hockey here, in fact I am paying several thousands to attend school. I coach goalies during the season to earn an income now (if you wonder where, check out http://www.cgdgoalies.com/. Great facility and coaches in the Ottawa area, solid blogposts too) and have spending money, as opposed to sitting at home all day after a morning practice and being paid for it. It is hard to keep a social life while keeping up with hockey, school, and work. But in the end I am here to improve my on ice abilities, and I believe that learning to manage my time off the ice and being able to compete while doing so will help me when I take an other shot at pro hockey.
My pro career dream is still alive, and I will work everyday for the next 3 years to get a contract when I get my degree at Carleton University in Ottawa. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that if you work hard and stay grinding, anything can happen.
Since I know a lot of you guys are really into setups, I figured I'd give you a quick chance to check out mine:
- Helmet: Bauer 960xpm, red maltese chin sling, custom paint job by Sylvie Poitras
- Neck guard: Maltese custom weiter spec, custom design
- Pads: Bauer 1s size L
- Gloves: Bauer 1s
- Chesty: Bauer NXG, markstrom specs, custom colors, XL
- Pants: Bauer 1s, XL
- Sticks: Bauer 1s, 26in, p31 curve (weapon)
- Skates: Bauer vapor 1x
Can you guess my favorite brand??
See you beauties at Legends Camp,