Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Q&A: Development Camp Day 1

The Nashville Predators held their first day of the 2012 Development Camp on Tuesday at Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville. Hockey Night in Nashville caught up with Pontus Aberg, Colton Sissons and Victor Bartley on Tuesday. Here is what they had to say:

Pontus Aberg (2nd Round/37th overall, 2012 NHL Entry Draft)

Hockey Night in Nashville: What are your first impressions of Nashville as a city?

Aberg: "I like it. It's warm. It seems to be a great city."

HNIN: What do you think are the biggest areas of your game that you've improved over the course of last season?

Aberg: "My hard work all over the ice I think. Backchecking and forechecking. Plus, the points came at the beginning of the season. I was pretty happy with the first half of the season."

HNIN: What's the biggest area you need to improve on going forward?

Aberg: "Maybe get a little bit bigger and stronger. I want to be more consistent. I think that's the big thing."

HNIN: Take us back to that moment when you were picked in the draft. I would guess that was a pretty exciting time for you and your family.

Aberg: "Yeah, of course. I've been working on that for my whole life. Since I was a little kid, I dreamed of playing in the NHL. Now I'm a little bit closer but I know there's still some left. This is only the beginning."

Colton Sissons (2nd Round/50th overall, 2012 NHL Entry Draft)

Hockey Night in Nashville: You're a guy that prides himself on playing a two-way game. How important do you think that will be in your development?

Sissons: "It's huge, especially defensively. That's probably the key aspect of my game coming into hopefully the pro level one day so I take a lot of pride. I work extremely hard in my defensive zone, and I also like to think that I can put some goals in the net and produce offensively."

HNIN: You were the Captain this past season in Kelowna. How valuable was that experience for you?

Sissons: "It's huge. Leadership is one thing that's hard to come by these days, it seems. It's a huge advantage that I have that in my back pocket."

HNIN: If you were scouting yourself, what would you say would be your biggest asset?

Sissons: "Probably my competitiveness more so than anything. I work extremely hard and get into battles. I like to think I come out of those battles with the puck more often than not so that's huge for me."

Victor Bartley (Led all Milwaukee defensemen in scoring last season)

Hockey Night in Nashville: You've got a year in Milwaukee under your belt now. What do you think the biggest differences are in your game now as opposed to a year ago? 

Bartley: "It's been honestly just knowledge of the game and understanding the systems here. That year in Europe helped me a lot actually going over there and having the wide open ice and then coming back over here and learning a more sound, positional game. We had great coaches (in Milwaukee) with Kirk Muller, Ian Herbers and Stan Drulia. I think halfway through the year I really picked up the knowledge of the game and I thought I improved my game a lot."

HNIN: What do you think you have to work on to get to that next level?

Bartley: "I'd say my D-zone and my stick. Skating is my asset so that really helps my game out overall, but I'd say just more D-zone positional stuff, which I'll learn through time here in Nashville or in Milwaukee.

The prospects will hit the ice for Day 2 of Development Camp on Thursday. The sessions are open to the public and it begins at 9 a.m. on Thursday.


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