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Chase Balisy heads to Nashville for the third time.
Courtesy: GS Photo

Bronco Hockey Heads to NHL Development Camps

Courtesy: Adam Bodnar, assistant director of media relations
Release: 07/10/2013
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KALAMAZOO -- It is that time of year when some members of the Western Michigan hockey program head off to National Hockey League development camps. This summer eight Broncos will participate at camps around the United States and Canada.

Senior captain Chase Balisy heads to Nashville, Tenn., for his third development camp with the Nashville Predators since the franchise drafted him in the sixth round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Others heading to development camps include Garret Haar (Washington), Mike Cichy (Montreal), and Colton Hargrove (Boston). The five, including Balisy, have their draft rights held by the teams. Undrafted student-athletes Nolan LaPorte, Kenney Morrison, Kyle Novak, and Josh Pitt also are headed to camps. LaPorte will join Haar in Washington, while Morrison heads to Edmonton, Novak to Anaheim and Pitt to Winnipeg.

Balisy now knows what to expect heading into the camp, after having no time to prepare for his first one.

"I didn't really know what to expect going down there my first year," said the Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., native. "I got drafted and had to go down two days later so I didn't really have time to think about it. Last year it was a lot easier because you know what to expect. This being my third year, I think I'll be one of the vets."

A typical camp day for Balisy will feature a lot of conditioning work, power skating and development work. All in front of the watchful eyes of the Predators' coaching staff, the coaching staff of their AHL affiliate Milwaukee Admirals and Nashville's general manager Dave Poile and his staff.

As the camps wrap up each prospect gets some one-on-one time with the staff during their exit interviews.

"They typically tell you what they want to see out of you for the upcoming year," explained Balisy. "It's all a lot of teaching so when you get to the next level, you know what to expect."

The Broncos would have had an even 10 student-athletes at prospect camps this summer, but incoming freshman Mike McKee was unable to attend the Detroit Red Wings' camp while recovering from an injury.