David Budgell is seen at practice at the Pepsi Centre. — Star photo by Geraldine Brophy
David Budgell knows the best thing to do when things aren’t going very well is to take the positive out of it.
That’s what he plans on doing for the balance of his rookie season with the Campbellton Tigers of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League.
The St. Anthony was pretty blunt when asked how things were going.
“Not that great, to be honest,” Budgell said. “We’re last in our division and second last in the league. We only have seven games left and we’re not going to make the playoffs.”
Moments after noting the tough spot the team is in, Budgell was quick to point out that things can and will get better. But, he said, it’s going to take some growing pains with so many new guys thrown into the mix for the 20-13-2014 season.
“We have a young team so there’s a lot of inexperience here, but the Campbellton team is rebuilding so I say two or three years time they’ll have a chance at it,” he said.
Budgell, who won a major midget hockey crown has seen his ice-time vary from time to time since joining the team. He has played some quality minutes on the team’s top two lines and he’s also been slotted in on the fourth line to provide energy and an aggresssive forecheck. He has seen his ice-time increase in the past few weeks because other players weren’t available for one reason or another.
“I’m a rookie so I can’t expect to play like first-line minutes like I did last year in major midget,” he said. “It’s a whole different game up here.”
With seven games left in the regular season, Budgell knows it’s easy to take the pedal off the gas because a playoff berth is out of question, but he feels that’s a luxury not afforded him at this stage in his development.
“I’m just going to keep working my hardest and try to open the coach’s eyes for next year I guess. Make a good name for myself in the last seven games,” he said.
Being away from family and friends has been a tad challenging for the speedy right-winger, but he has settled in nicely with a billet who he said treats him just like a family member so he has no qualms. He also said being away pursuing his passion for the game has also taught him a thing or two about life and himself so he’s taking it all in stride.
“It’s helped me become a more mature person I guess. It’s helped me grow up a little bit where I’m kind of living on my own,” he said.
His knowledge of the game, he figures, has also improved since he began his junior hockey career. He is learning how to play different systems and also knows the importance of continuing to be a responsible player in both ends of the rink.
“There’s a lot more to the game than what I seen in midget,” he said.