Pat Sieloff was selected in the 2nd round of the 2012 NHL Draft, No. 42 overall, by the Calgary Flames. Over the summer, he shrugged off a commitment from the University of Miami at Ohio to join the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. I caught up with him before his team loaded the bus shipping out of Mississauga on Friday night after a 3-2 shootout loss to the Steelheads…
Cam Charron: There’s been a lot of talk over the summer of player’s moving from the NCAA to play in the CHL. What was the main thing that spurred your decision to move to the OHL?
Pat Sieloff: I think they play more of an NHL-type game, and the schedule looks more like an NHL schedule. You’re not, it’s not like a 40-game season instead of a 68-game season or 70-game season, you know, that’s one thing that triggered it. Also, my offensive game isn’t the best, so I kind of wanted to get better here since it’s a pretty good offensive league.
Were the Flames in any way responsible for the move at all, or did they talk to you over the course of the summer about it?
No, they’re really good about it. They let me do what I wanted to do and they had no part in it. It’s just what I wanted to do and what was best for me.
The lockout doesn’t necessarily affect somebody your age as to where you play, but it can affect the way an organization communicates with its prospects. Are you still chatting with the Flames?
Yeah, they’re good. They’re really good about keeping up with their prospects. We check in almost every other week, even if we aren’t even playing. I think that’s one thing, they are really close to their prospects, maybe it’s like other organizations, but it’s definitely them.
Is there anything that they’re explicitly telling you to work on?
No, just play my game and have fun, because that’s the thing that keeps me happy, and if I’m not happy, then it’s not good for anyone.
Other than the amount of games played, what’s the major difference in actual on-ice play between the NCAA and the OHL?
I think that’s one thing you’re going to argue, but I think there’s more draft picks out there. You’re playing against guys that have that NHL experience, there’s guys who are, but in every OHL game, there’s 8 or 9 guys who belong to an NHL organization. It’s just real high competition.
And tougher standards on hitting?
[Laughs] Yeah, definitely.
Sieloff had avoided a suspension for a hit the previous night against Justin Bailey of the Kitchener Rangers, the first heavily-debated hit of the 2012-13 season.