Kyle Baun still isn’t taking anything for granted.
Despite surviving Friday’s round of cuts and looking set for a roster spot, the rookie winger said Saturday “I still don’t think anything’s solidified.”
“I’m just still coming here trying to do my thing every day and work hard and play my role,” Baun said.
After leaving Colgate University, Baun signed a two-year entry-level deal with the Hawks in March. He played in three games and had no points, but Baun said that experience was valuable as he tried to get through training camp this fall.
“From a comfort standpoint just being around guys and being around the media and all that kind of thing definitely helped there. And then also on the ice too,” Baun said. “You don’t get as overwhelmed seeing all the guys you grew up watching, kind of thing.”
That also helped him get through a camp that had him and a few other similar players competing for a limited number of spots.
“I think mentally more than anything it’s stressful. You’re coming to the rink every day not really sure where you stand. But I try to block it out as much as possible and just focus on my own game,” Baun said. “At the end of the day that’s all you can do. You can’t really control all those external factors.”
Patrick Kane sounds impressed with Baun’s game.
“He’s got speed. He’s got a hard shot. He’s one of those guys that can really help our team,” Kane said. “And he plays physical too, so he’s one of those guys I think could be a pleasant surprise for this year, and hopefully can bring us that physical element and hopefully bang in a few goals too.”
There was some chatter that Baun’s strong camp pushed Marko Dano off the roster and down to the AHL with Rockford. Coach Joel Quenneville didn’t quite go there.
“I don’t want to individually compare them to each other because they’ve got different games,” Quenneville said. “But as far as, Bauner we’re happy with. We weren’t disappointed with Danner at all. We just feel the opportunity for him is to get playing and go from there.”