Mayfield more mature heading into second camp
by Christian Arnold/Correspondent
Syosset, N.Y. – Selected 34th overall by the Islanders in 2011, Scott Mayfield is excited that camp is underway for he and his fellow prospects.
“It’s really nice to get out here to see the guys again and see all the new draft picks and everything,” Mayfield said.
The 19-year-old defenseman is in his second prospect camp with the Isles since being drafted. He is also coming off his first year of playing college hockey with the University of Denver Pioneers. In 42 games with them in the 2011-12 collegiate season he scored three goals and added nine assists for 12 points.
Prior to college hockey, Mayfield played in the USHL for the Youngstown Phantoms. For the St. Louis native, the transition from juniors to college took some time.
“A kid on our team was 26, so you have some older guys out there,” Mayfield explained. “I think that was good playing at that bigger, physical level. It was faster for sure, but it took me a few games into the season to get started and I think my second half of the season was far greater than my first half.
“That’s what I wanted and I’m happy with it.”
Mayfield believes that his experience at camp last year helped him grow up and mature since it helped him get acclimated to a more pro-like lifestyle.
Now back for his second year, Mayfield returns with more experience and maturity. He has also added some size since his last time on Long Island. He is now listed as 203 pounds and is planning on adding some more weight over the summer.
Mayfield is also using his time at camp to have a bit of fun as well. He’s also taking advantage of the chance to learn from guys who have played at the NHL level, including Aaron Ness, Calvin de Haan and Matt Donavan.
“You get to play with the guys that are kind of living out your dream,” Mayfield said. “That’s what everyone wants to do out here and they’ve had a chance to do it. I feel like I really watch Donavan, de Haan, and Ness.”
Donavan and Mayfield have a bit of a special relationship, since both players went to the University of Denver. Donavan left Denver before Mayfield got there, but he says the two have talked and that Donavan has even made a trip back to Denver -- though Mayfield was still in class at the time of his trip.
The advice from the prospect camp vet can’t hurt the already-talented Mayfield, who is a self-described two-way defenseman that focuses on defense.
“I think I have some offensive upside,” Mayfield said about his game. “But at the same time I take pride in the d-zone. I kind of like to use my size, block shots, so that’s kind of a big thing of mine. So definitely I’d say two-way, but at the same time more focus is on being a shutdown kind of D too.”
Mayfield does have a hard shot and seems to move the puck well. Though the Isles prospect says that his offensive game can always improve, he feels his footwork and speed have gotten better.
“I think moving up the ice I’m pretty good, but in the zone I could definitely work on my offensive game,” Mayfield said.
He will continue to work on his game into the summer and when he returns to Denver in the fall, but Mayfield will certainly be a player to watch out for down the line.