Carson Buydens' rookie campaign has come to a close.
The forward spent his first MJHL season with the Virden Oil Capitals and helped them get to the semi-finals in the playoffs. The former Central Plains Capital says it was awesome to be able to learn from the veterans on the team and adds they really helped guide him through the process of the season.
Buydens outlines some of the major things he learned from the 2021-22 campaign.
"I don't know if there were one or two things that were most important, but I just learned a ton about the game this year in general," Buydens explains. "Going to the rink every day, and playing at a higher level than I had before, it's great. When you play with good players and are on the ice every day, you learn a lot."
The Gladstone, Manitoba product nearly put up a point per game this season, with 53 in 54 regular-season games. He added five more points during their ten-game playoff run.
The Virden Oil Capitals were eliminated in six games by the Steinbach Pistons in the second round this year. Buydens reflects his first MJHL playoff experience.
"It's a ton of fun. It's different from the regular season, the playoffs are a whole new deal, " Buydens continues. "You have less time, and everyone is playing with more desperation because you don't want to go down ever. It's a different atmosphere, and I would love to do it again."
Now having some Junior A playoff experience of his own, the forward describes how his approach would change next time around.
"Knowing you don't have as much time out there -- because everyone is playing faster, harder, and closing out more -- being quicker with the puck will be important," says Buydens. "Making plays quicker will be key because there's not as much time out there."
Carson Buydens was ranked 146th among North American skaters.— Virden Oil Capitals (@OilCapsHockey) January 12, 2022
Congratulations to F Carson Buydens on being ranked in the NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings! We are very proud of you! https://t.co/SBcZ7eP5e5
The 18-year-old was this season's MJHL Rookie of the Year and also committed to play Division 1 hockey in the NCAA at Princeton University. Buydens is undecided on what will be in store for him next, but regardless, he notes there are a few things he wants to improve upon in the offseason.
"I just want to continue to get better at everything. If I had to single out one thing, I would probably just want to keep getting faster," Buydens explains. "I have to keep improving my skating, and I want to become more explosive. Skating is the most important part of the game, and if you can improve it, it's crucial."
Buydens wishes all the 20-year-olds on the Oil Capitals all the best in their future endeavours and gives thanks to the entire organization for making his rookie season as enjoyable as it was.