“I think ideally I would have liked to take more time off,” Boyd said. “But coming here is something that’s too good of an experience to pass up. You can learn so much and you can take so much from this week and all of Washington’s staff. Coming here is something that can really help you.”
Boyd said it would have been easy to “try to get out of it and not come.” But at the end of the day, development camp is where he wants to be, even though it’s his sixth run at it.
“I don’t think coming into this week I was back to 100 percent,” Boyd said, referring to his body aches after his nine-month rookie stint with Hershey. “But this is a really important week. You get to be around some of the best coaches in the world and have them watch your game, and have them tell you what you need to get better at.”
As a development camp veteran, Boyd says he’s trying to help out the first timers as much as he can.
“I remember my first couple times here,” Boyd said. “You’re not really sure how things work or where things go. I just try and be there and let them know this his how things are done around here.”
But it’s not only about helping the younger players. He’s here to learn too.
“The nice thing and what I like about coming here is each year you’re a different player and Washington’s staff knows that,” Boyd said. “Coming here as you grow and develop your game, they’re gonna come with something new each year for you to come and work on. In terms of finding something new, I think your game is always changing so there’s always something new you can work on.”
Through Boyd’s rookie season with the Bears, he logged 97 games (76 regular season, 21 postseason), the most of anyone on the team. Through that time on the ice during the regular season, Boyd netted 21 goals and had 32 assists for 53 points, the third most on the team behind Chris Bourque (80) and Riley Barber (55). Boyd scored two goals and had seven assists for nine points during the playoffs.
But just nine months ago, Hershey coach Troy Mann wasn’t sure how Boyd was going to fit.
“We maybe expected him down in the bottom of the lineup or even starting in South Carolina,” Mann said. “We really had no idea going into September what we had and all of a sudden, you’ve got a guy who was playing most of the season with Chris Bourque and scoring game-winners in the playoffs. We believe he’s got a chance. … He’s another one that’s got a chance, and I’m hoping if there’s an injury over the course of next season that he gets his chance.”
Mann wasn’t the only one impressed. Barry Trotz was too.
“You look at a guy like Boyd for us,” Trotz said. “I think he’s grown a lot in the last couple of years.”
Boyd’s come a long way after being drafted in the sixth round as the No. 177 pick in the 2011 draft.
But right now, he’s focused on finishing up the week, learning as much as he can, and taking another week off.
“Any long-time pro will say, your body is your money maker,” Boyd said. “That’s what you use to make money, so you have to treat it and take care of it.”