Chatting with Islanders Prospect Scott Mayfield
(Via the New York Islanders Flickr page.)
By Christian Arnold (@CA_NYHockey)
On Thursday night, following the prospect scrimmage and skill competition, I had the chance to catch up with defensive prospect Scott Mayfield. The 20-year-old played two seasons of college hockey with the Denver University Pioneers before making the jump to pro hockey in the spring.
Mayfield played six games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, registering 10 shots and one minor penalty. In the 39 games he played last season with Denver he put up 17 points (four goals, 13 points).
The St. Louis native isn’t expected to make the Islanders right out of training camp, but could make the decision to send him down very tough on management if he has a strong showing in September.
Below is my conversation with Mayfield on the prospect game, the transition from college to pro hockey and what he plans to work on during the summer:
How does it feel to play in a game situation?
It’s nice. It’s a little different than the skates we do in the summer. It’s more competition, it’s faster definitely out there, but it was a lot fun. We all enjoyed ourselves playing with theses guys. You only really get to once a summer. I think we all enjoyed ourselves and I thought the game went well for all of us.
How much does mini camp help you going into training camp, and how has the experience in the AHL help?
It helps a lot. It gets you ready. It is my third time coming, but at the same time there is always more learning to be done. The coaches and the organization is out there. I think we’re all working hard and you have to get better everyday while you’re here. You can really use this to your advantage and kind of get ready for September. I think that’s what I’ve been doing, that’s what I’ve been focusing on.
How has the feedback from the coaching staff been?
It’s been good so far. There’s a lot of stuff I need to work on of course, I think those six games were really kind of gave me an insight on what I have to do. I think just some of the little things. The decision-making. Guys are bigger and faster. They give me good feedback and I take it and just try to get better with it.
How was transition from College hockey to pro hockey?
There was definitely transition. There is going to be at every level. I think I handled it pretty well. I had a lot of fun doing it. My game is more of a pro-style game, so I think that helped, but it gave me clues to what the next level brings. I mean there is definitely faster decisions, faster guys, more skill guys, so there is a lot of work to be done to make sure I can excel at that level now.
Is it strange going from being a student-athlete to a pro athlete?
There is a huge difference of course, but it’s a good difference. I can just focus on hockey now and that kind of went into my decision making process. You don’t have the social life and the school like you do at a big college like that. I’m excited to have it. That’s another reason why those six games helped. For two and a half, three weeks it gave me a feeling of what it would be like next year. It’s a job now and I’m excited to take that challenge.
What do you work on during the rest of the summer before training camp?
A little bit of everything. I mean I have to get bigger. I have the height, but I want to put on a little bit more size. Then keep my feet moving out there. I want to keep my speed up and then I think my D-zone is pretty good, but I think I could do more offensively. So I want to progress in that and I think that experience in those six games kind of showed me what I need to do. I think I’ve been working hard this summer and now the end of July and August are big for me to get ready for September.