Harrison gaining valuable experience at camp
CALGARY, AB -- Tim Harrison may have set the bar too high for himself coming into the Flames development camp.
Last year, he somehow managed to win two mini-bikes at the Calgary Stampede. Now the pressure is on to pull in an even bigger haul.
"I'll do my best," he laughed. "I have some pretty high expectations from guys. We'll see."
In addition to his Stampede ambitions, Harrison is on a mission to soak up as much as advice as he can from the camp's coaching staff.
"I want to get as much tips and hints and little game pointers that I can," he stated. "You have them here for a week. Obviously I can call them throughout the summer but having them face-to-face and hearing some feedback from them ... getting pointers on my game wherever I can improve, things I need to get stronger at.
"That's the biggest thing. I know what the management wants and what the coaches need. Wherever I can adapt my game in order to fit that mould, I'm going to do that as best as possible."
Largely unknown in 2013, Harrison made a name for himself by playing an up-tempo, physical game and bringing a strong-skating north-south style to the table.
He made an impact in every scrimmage at the 2013 camp, whether it be by scoring a timely penalty shot goal for his group or sending Sven Baertschi to the ice in a heap with a huge check.
Now, with that experience under his belt, the right winger is feeling a lot more settled and that has been beneficial on the ice.
"I'm a lot more comfortable. At first, it was a little intimidating last year, not knowing a lot of guys. Coming in this year, seeing some familiar faces and meeting some new guys and showing them the ropes a little bit ... I'd say it's a different experience.
"Overall, it's really cool to be back here and I'm excited."
The 20-year-old is coming off his freshman season at Colgate University. He put up five assists through 34 games and while he would have liked to produce more, he is pleased with how his first college campaign went.
"I love Colgate. It's a great group of guys. The upper classmen really welcomed us in. Right away, we kind of formed a brotherhood, which was great.
"Hockey-wise, we had an unbelievable team. We played more of an in-your-face game. We weren't the most skilled team but we worked really hard. Personally, I didn't get as many points as I would have liked but I fit the role that coach had put me in and I worked my hardest."
That in-your-face style that Colgate head coach Don Vaughan employees suits Harrison's game to a tee. Playing within that system should allow the Duxbury, MA native to flourish in his sophomore year.
"I like playing a high-energy game. I like moving my feet and when I can make a skilled play, I'll try to.
"At Colgate, in the role I was in, I found myself dumping it in and chasing the defenceman, hitting and grinding. That definitely fit my style. Hopefully as a sophomore, I can move up in the ranks and try to make more of an impact on the offensive side."
In 2013-14, the Raiders made a strong push in the ECAC Hockey Tournament, making it all the way to the final, and got a taste of the NCAA tournament when they squared off against Ferris State in the regional semi-final.
They fell in both outings, dropping a 5-2 decision to Union in the ECAC final and surrendering a 1-0 loss to Ferris State but that experience will be a motivating factor in 2014-15.
"Next year, we're hungry and we got that little taste so we want to get back and prove ourselves. We got Colgate on the map and we want to win a national championship."