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Blog: Friday, December 1st, 2017

5 Questions With Alumnus Harrison Blaisdell

FORMER YALE LION AND CURRENT CHILLIWACK CHIEFS FORWARD HARRISON BLAISDELL SITS DOWN FOR THE LATEST INSTALLMENT OF FIVE QUESTIONS. 


BLAISDELL HAS FOUR GOALS AND 14 POINTS THROUGH 25 GAMES WITH THE CHIEFS THIS SEASON. IN NOVEMBER, HE REPRESENTED TEAM CANADA AT THE WORLD U-17 HOCKEY CHALLENGE.  THIS WEEKEND, HE WILL BE IN CALGARY FOR THE CANADA WEST SELECTION CAMP AHEAD OF THE 2017 WORLD JUNIOR A CHALLENGE (DEC. 10-16 IN TRURO, NOVA SCOTIA).

Q:  Congratulations on representing Team Canada at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge.  What was that experience like for you?

HB:  The experience was fantastic.  I feel like the tournament offered all of the players great exposure and personally, I felt that being able to play against the best players in the world really allowed me to grow as a player.  The stiff competition allows you to compare your personal strengths with those of other elite players and you leave knowing exactly what you need to improve on going forward.  Most of all, it is a really special experience being able to play for your country and represent Canada for the first time.

Q:  You’ve also been invited to Canada West’s selection camp this weekend for the 2017 World Junior A Challenge.  What are your goals heading into camp?

HB: Heading into the Canada West camp, I think I need to just really focus on the little things in my game that help me be successful, as well as make sure I’m well rested.  Hockey Canada events are always strenuous and playing with bigger, older players I will make sure my body is energized.

Q:  All this is happening during your first season with the Chilliwack Chiefs.  How has your game improved since making the jump into the BCHL?

HB: I think one big area I have improved on is my overall versatility as a player.  Coming into this year, I had always played centre, whereas this year I have played a lot of wing.  At first it was uncomfortable, but I think this is very important as it is good to be able to effectively play more than one position down the road.

Q:  You are committed to the University of North Dakota.  Why does it make sense for you to pursue the collegiate route for your hockey development?

HB:  I believe that both the collegiate level and Major Junior levels are both great for the development of young players.  Personally, I loved the idea of an opportunity to maximize my time for development, as well as be able to play at a school with a great atmosphere around the team and for a program that has developed a lot of very elite pro players throughout the years.

Q:  How did the Yale Hockey Academy help you reach this stage in your hockey career?

HB: Yale did a number of things that have influenced my hockey career this far. I feel like from a skill level standpoint, the academy was fantastic for development.  I had the opportunity to practice at a high level each day with top-end players that really pushed me and led to great developments in my game.  Apart from this, it was also a great way to show me all the possible routes I could potentially take as I moved on to the next level. I was fortunate enough to have a lot of great hockey people around me that knew very well the pros and cons of each route (NCAA and Major Junior) and this allowed me to confidently make a decision.  Off the ice, the academy was equally beneficial as the staff taught us a lot of great lessons about being respectful, hard-working and professional young men.  In my opinion, the sports school league is an unbelievable chance for young kids to succeed.  The Yale Hockey Academy has proven that year after year, and I am grateful for the opportunity it gave me.