(Courtesy Marc Smith) Jayden Halbgewachs wasn’t expecting to hear his name called during the 2017 NHL Draft, so when it didn’t happen, he wasn’t too disappointed.
The Moose Jaw Warriors’ 2016-17 leading scorer already had a plan in place to attend the Vegas Golden Knights’ development camp, which he did earlier this month.
Halbgewachs was excited about the opportunity that the NHL’s newest franchise presented.
“There’s lots of opportunity there and a lot of new people that I’ve got to prove myself to because it’s a new team and that’s what I did, so I’ll just look to build off that for the next camp,” said Halbgewachs, who was one of six Warriors to attend NHL summer camps.
This was the first NHL camp for Halbgewachs, who was passed over in the draft in back-to-back years. He received this opportunity after exploding for 50 goals and 101 points last season with the Warriors.
Coming out of the camp, Halbgewachs feels like he was able to perform well.
“You’re obviously a little slow getting going because it’s been a while since you’ve hit the ice, but in the end I feel like I proved myself the best I could and now I just need to keep building on that,” said Halbgewachs.
With that camp under his belt, Halbgewachs is turning his focus to preparing for his 20-year-old season with the Warriors.
He said he’ll be working on his strength more this summer to make sure he’s ready to go for the 2017-18 season.
“I need to keep getting stronger in the lower body area, so for me, just getting the legs stronger is the main thing and then working on the speed and hands comes along with that,” said Halbgewachs.
After having such a big breakout season last year, Halbgewachs added that he isn’t feeling anymore pressure to perform this year, but has his sights set on a repeat performance.
“It’s not pressure, but just going out there and stepping up your game to the next level,” he said. “I’m more relaxed now, so if I just go out there and play my game, it should happen for me.”
The Warriors will open their 2017 training camp in late August.