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Three Minutes With (Preds prospect edition): Chase Balisy…

Last week, during the Rookie Development Camp the Nashville Predators put on annually, had the chance to sit down with 2011 NHL Draft pick Chase Balisy.

Balisy, a forward at Western Michigan University drafted in the sixth round, became the latest in what seems like a long string of Californians drafted by the Predators. The Fullerton, California native lived on the same street as Nashville defenseman Jonathon Blum while growing up, as a matter of fact.

In the interview, Balisy shares how he received the news that he was drafted, his path to the NHL and his experience at Dev Camp. You were drafted by the Preds but you weren’t in the building. How did you find out that you’d been selected?
Chase Balisy: Um, a bunch of my buddies and I were just sitting there at school and, you know, I got a call from my assistant coach and he said I was drafted. It was pretty cool and I told him “you’re the first one to call me.”

303: What was that emotion like? Were you expecting to get drafted?
CB: I thought it would be like a 50-50 shot. I wasn’t for sure, that’s probably why I wasn’t watching it. But, uh, yeah it was pretty cool, the whole experience getting drafted and everything.

303: What’s that like? Going from the “50-50 chance” of getting drafted to being here at an NHL camp?
CB: I mean, it’s really happened so quick. I mean, I just got drafted a week ago and I’ve been here a week now so… it’s all happened real quickly. But it’s been really valuable. I think I can learn a lot from this. Going up against a lot of these other guys here and meeting them, seeing how they play and stuff, I think that’s a really big experience for me.

303: For those of us who don’t get to watch a lot of CCHA hockey, kind of describe your game a little bit.
CB: I’d have to say I’m an offensive player. I play both ways but I’m very offensive. Just try to make plays. I’m not the fastest skater but I use my vision and hockey smarts to try and out smart people.

303: What was your path to this point?
CB: I grew up in California until I was 10. I moved up to Toronto until I was 16 and then I played at Ann Arbor when I was 17 and 18 at the (United States) Development Program. And then I went to Western this past year.

303: Of all the things you could possibly do and play in Southern California, how’d you get into hockey?
CB: My dad played when he was younger. He’s from Toronto so, you know, hockey’s huge up there. That’s pretty much how I got started. And I’m actually right down the street from Jon Blum.

303: Did you know fellow Californian¬†Taylor Aronson (Nashville’s third round pick in 2010) before too?
CB: I met him two years ago actually. We worked out together for a bit there and, uh, that’s the first time I met him. I haven’t really seen him in a while, this is the first time since and I’ve been rooming with him so that’s pretty cool too.

303: What’s that like? Two Californians rooming together at an NHL camp?
CB: I think it’s pretty cool actually. I mean, all the Cali kids usually stick together. When you’re from Cali, you’re pretty much always together with all the Cali kids so I think it’s pretty cool.

PHOTO CREDIT: Rachel Addison // Rachel Addison Photography (used with permission)