By: Chris Hofley – Ottawa Sun
Any nervousness Travis Barron felt about his first Ottawa 67’s training camp was all but gone once he hit the ice.
“On the long drive down, there was nerves but as (the day) went on, I wasn’t thinking about that,” Barron said after a training camp scrimmage in which he scored the final goal.
Ottawa’s first-round pick in the OHL Priority Selection Draft earlier this summer, Barron turned 16 a week ago. At 6-foot-1, 180 lbs, Barron has proven to be a rugged winger who can use his size and is hard to get off the puck, assets that could make him an impact player in his rookie season. He scored 41 points in 30 games in minor midget last season and rarely passed on the opportunity to deliver a hit.
The team isn’t going to rush him, with new head coach Jeff Brown planning to ease Barron — who captained his Toronto Jr. Canadiens team last season — into the lineup on a lower line and let him earn his minutes.
Barron understands there are “high expectations” for him and understands the transition to the OHL is a big one, but he doesn’t seem particularly fazed by the external factors.
He just wants to play hockey in Ottawa.
“It’s a hard league with big boys,” said Barron, who held is own early in camp this week against 19 and 20-year-olds. “I’m just going to go out every day, do my best and just keep grinding away.
Barron’s uncle, former NHLer Andrew Cassels, played three seasons with the 67’s, the last coming a decade before Barron was born.
“Ottawa was my first choice and look where I am now. I couldn’t be happier,” he said.
Ottawa 67’s training camp continues Friday and runs through Sunday at Fred Barrett Arena. “
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