<table width=90% align=center><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_blog.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4>Last night I tried to have a relaxing night - I just went out to dinner with a friend at the Cactus Club. I tried to watch some TV, but I knew I had to get my rest for a big testing day this morning. To tell you the truth, I didn't sleep the best. I was a bit nervous for today. My mind was just racing, mostly because I was anxious to see what lies ahead.
It's my first NHL training camp. I've been to lots of camp before, but nothing like this - it's a whole new experience for me. I just don’t know what’s coming ahead, but I’m excited to see what the future brings.
I had a really good year last season in college, and I feel like I’m ready to make the jump - that’s why I made the move in the first place. People always talk about how hard it is and the commitment it takes to make it to the next level, but I really feel like I'm ready to become a professional hockey player. Hopefully I'll be here in Vancouver in a few weeks.
For me, the biggest change from college will probably be the game schedule, because you only play about a 38 games in college and here you have a 82-game regular season schedule. That’ll be a big adjustment.
<a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_09062007_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_09062007_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=3 hspace=4></a>I get asked quite a bit about going to college instead of playing major junior. For me it was a great experience. I loved it. You meet some great people down there for sure, and you’re kind of killing two birds with one stone because you get hockey and schooling. The thing I’ll miss most is probably the hockey side – the rink and the atmosphere is very exciting and is always something you’ll remember. But one thing I have to admit that I’m not going to miss the homework or classes. That could be a tough a juggling act at times.
I'll admit that I'm feeling a bit of anxiety coming here. The testing wasn't too bad - I mean it was hard and everything - but I know it's only the beginning. I don’t really know what to expect, so that kind of adds to the nervousness. I know you hear people say it all the time, but my focus really is to just go as far as I can and give my best effort. I want to make it a tough decision for the coaches.
I don’t know who my roommate is yet, that's going to be another adjustment for sure, but it would be a dream to room with someone like Markus Naslund or one of the Sedins or something like that. I’m not too picky I guess, but someone not too loud or messy would be nice.
<a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/rookietest9_09062007_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/rookietest9_09062007_t.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4></a>In college, I lived with four other guys and it was fun but the house was a mess all the time and it was always something scary. I don’t clean as much as I’d like, but at least I kept my room clean. I couldn’t say the same thing about the other parts of the house. Thankfully, we invested in a dishwasher, which helped... sort of.
Someone asked me what I'm looking forward to most of all. I guess it's getting each day done, because that way I’m closer to the main event. I'm anxious to find out where I’m going to be and really excited to hopefully play in an exhibition game.
We started testing about 8 am this morning and we're heading over to the ferry almost immediately. It’s feels like a long day already but tomorrow it all begins again. I think we're on the ice at 9am and go straight through till the afternoon. I'm looking forward to it.</td></tr></table>