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Sens Development Camp: Day 2

Wednesday, 02.07.2014 / 9:30 AM
By Chris Lund - OttawaSenators.com / Inside the Senate Blog
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Inside the Senate Blog
Sens Development Camp: Day 2

4:30 PM: Sens TV strapped a GoPro on Matt Puempel during this morning's on-ice session. Take a look at practice from a first-person view of one of the club's top prospects...

4:00 PM: Take a look at what the prospects went through on the ice today at Senators' Development Camp.

2:20 PM: New Sens prospects Alex Guptill and Nick Paul got to meet the media today at development camp after arriving in Ottawa. Check out their first availabilities...

Here's what Alex Guptill had to say about joining the Senators...

On his reaction:

I think a little bit of shock and a lot of excitement. It's been a pretty crazy 24 hours here, it was a quick turnaround, but I'm really excited to be here and I really like what they've been saying so far.

On if he thought being traded was possible:

I guess so, you don't think about it too much and it was a little bit of a surprise to get the call in the morning. When I saw my agent calling at 11 in the morning I figured something was up. It was a little bit of a surprise for sure.

On coming to a hockey market:

It's crazy, I was saying a lot of fans have reached out and that type of thing and obviously there's not much of that in Dallas. I'm going to miss the heat a bit but it's exciting to play in a place like this where everybody loves it.

On if his "coming in hot" tweet was an homage to Bobby Ryan:

The funniest thing about that is I actually tweet that nine days ago when I was coming home from Texas to go to Toronto so I don't know how that got blown up like that. It definitely wasn't in reference to that at all.

On his game:

I think I have a lot of offensive ability. I'm a big guy, I'm a good skater. I need to work on my two-way game but I think next year my hopes are to talk to the guys and there's a chance to come in and take a roster spot so that's obviously a goal I'm going to work for. If I happen to go to Binghamton I'm going to go there and be a contributing member for sure.

On his first impression of Ottawa and practice with Luke Richardson and Jason Smith:

It was pretty cool, it's definitely an experience. Obviously Luke Richardson was a big player NHLer and Jason Smith was as well. It was really exciting and hopefully I get to learn from those guys.

On his family's reaction to the trade:

They're happy, it's a lot closer than Texas obviously. I'm actually from the Niagara area so Binghamton is only about three hours away so they're pretty excited about that. They'll get to watch some games.

Nick Paul also offered his thoughts on the trade to Ottawa. Here's what he had to say...

On his reaction to the trade:

It's kind of nuts, I was making myself breakfast and watching TV and my agent called and said, "You just got traded." I looked up and saw the TV and it said breaking news, Jason Spezza for Dallas Stars prospects so I knew I was up there. It was an amazing feeling, it was a huge trade, one of the biggest of the day and I'm just honoured to be in it. It's a great organization.

On being traded for a player like Spezza:

My whole life I've been an underrated player and these last couple of weeks with being invited to the World Juniors and this huge trade, it's really doing my confidence a little better but I've got to stay in the same mindset every time I'm on the ice.

On the World Junior invite:

I think it was last Monday or last Sunday around there [when he learned about the invite]. It was definitely a great feeling getting invited to that too... It's a huge honour to just go there make your country proud and hopefully win a gold if I make the team.

On being underrated as a player:

I got drafted into the OHL out of my midget reps and then from there I think I've taken off. I was 5-foot-5 my draft year in the OHL and I've grown into my body, I'm comfortable with it, I'm getting my man strength and everything is just clicking for me... I was 5-foot-5, 170, 175... I'm 6-foot-3, close to 6-foot-4, and about 218. I've really grown into my body... I was a fifth rounder to Brampton... I think I just grew into my body, I went from 5-foot-5 to 6-foot-2 so I think that caught a lot of OHL eyes. I had some scouts going to my midget games, it was a little nerve wracking at first but I just kept my nerves down and played my game and they liked what they saw. They saw the potential and they took a good chance.

On his strengths when he was smaller:

The same as they are now, I was really good in the corners, I have a quick, hard shot and I think it was just my ability to muscle off the corner and good eyes for the game, I can make the pass. Just good vision.

On how many pairs of skates he had to use in that growth year:

I think I went through just two, it was mostly my clothes and my whole wardrobe. I had to give that to Goodwill. Definitely a lot of food, a lot of grocery bills, a lot of clothes bills. My mom wasn't too happy but it was a good thing in the end.

On playing for Stan Butler:

It has been amazing, I love Stan Butler as a coach, he's really hard on me. I like when coaches are hard on me, I can learn from them. That's the best way to learn I find. He has been amazing, he has given me tons of opportunity. My first year coming in I centred Barclay Goodrow... he dropped me off right in the first line and gave me a great opportunity. From there my confidence really helped me out and I had a great year and got drafted. I give everything to him right now.

On the OHL playoff run:

Our team did great. Everyone counted us out, especially when we were down 3-1 to Niagara but we pulled through, our chemistry came in, everyone played their role and we took it right to the final. We couldn't ask for a better year from the boys.

On how he developed his shot:

My dad, ever since I was little, I had a brother who's eight years older than me, he played junior with the Oakville Blades. We had a rink in the backyard and ever since I could hold a stick I'd be out there. My dad is really tough on me so he'd get me out there for hours just shooting from the corner, practicing one-timers and shots. I hated it as a kid but it has paid off and I thank him for that.

1:30 PM: The Sens hit the ice at the Sensplex today to work on some position-specific skills. Take a look at the images...

9:30 AM: Sens Development camp rolls on today with the players moving into specialized position workouts on the ice at the Bell Sensplex. We'll have plenty of updates here in video, written and social form, so stay tuned!

Check out yesterday's highlights from fitness testing with Sens TV in the midst of it all...


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