The 2012 NHL Entry Draft is just 24 hours away, but Travis Brown found something else to occupy his mind.
The Moose Jaw Warriors is going to play hockey to keep his mind off hockey.
“I actually have a 3-on-3 hockey tournament that weekend so it will be good for me to keep my mind off of things,” Brown said.
The experience of going through the draft isn’t one that weighed on the Winnipeg product.
“The season never really got overwhelming for me because of scouts, just because I tried not to think about it and just tried to improve every day,” Brown said.
The intensity heightened when the Warriors lost top defenseman Morgan Rielly to a knee injury, projected to go in the top-10 in Friday’s draft. So did Brown’s composure to the situation.
“With Morgan’s injury everyone on the defensive end had to step up,” Brown said. “I personally was put into different situations sooner than expected and had to make the most out of the opportunity that was presented to me.”
“When Morgan suffered his injury there was more attention on our D core as a whole. Seeing how we were going to react to our tragic loss.”
Rielly’s injury may inadvertently improve Brown’s chances to get drafted. Buried down the depth chart to start the season, Brown emerged in his teammate’s absence and scouts and statisticians alike were forced to take notice.
“I was very blessed to have a pretty good rookie season,” Brown said. “I don’t quiet feel underrated but I feel people are uncertain because it was only my rookie year and they have not seen that much of me.”
Scouts got a good, long look at Brown’s seven goals and 31 points and even though the six-foot-two defenseman garnered more and more attention, his focus didn’t waver.
“I would see the rankings here and there but never really took them into too much consideration,” he said. “I just wanted to improve my game as the season went on.”
Brown did just that, but still believes there is room for development.
“I believe my biggest strengths are my shot and my mobility as a defenseman,” he admitted. “The things that I need to work on are just calming down in the defensive zone and realizing less is more.”
Less is more for Brown, who is taking that approach to the draft. While others will be stressed, suited up or just plain nervous, Brown will be doing what he does best.