On-the-job train­ing for Leafs’ rookie Der­mott

St. Thomas Times-Journal - - SPORTS - tkoshan@post­media.com TERRY KOSHAN

All is go­ing well for Leafs’ rookie Travis Der­mott — on and off the ice.

As much as the de­fence­man’s life has changed — on and off the ice — since he ini­tially was re­called by the Maple Leafs on Jan. 5, there has been one con­stant.

When Der­mott makes mis­takes dur­ing games, coach Mike Bab­cock and his staff keep send­ing Der­mott over the boards, more than will­ing to let the 21-year-old learn on the job.

For Der­mott, the im­por­tance of that can’t be un­der­es­ti­mated as he de­vel­ops.

“Glar­ing mis­takes have not hap­pened too fre­quently, but we have video ses­sions and we see mul­ti­ple things I am do­ing wrong, things I can get bet­ter at,” Der­mott said. “That’s good. I’m mak­ing mis­takes and it means I am get­ting bet­ter if I am learn­ing from them.

“It’s nice know­ing they have that con­fi­dence in me and if I make one mis­take they’re not go­ing to sit me. As long as I keep get­ting bet­ter ev­ery game, they would not have any rea­son to do that.”

Though Der­mott said that play­ing in Toronto can be “very stress­ful” that he is given the op­por­tu­nity to grow is not be­ing taken for granted.

On Wed­nes­day night against the vis­it­ing Colum­bus Blue Jack­ets, Der­mott played in his 16th game with the Leafs, aver­ag­ing 16 min­utes 29 sec­onds through the first 15.

Off the ice, Der­mott has found him­self han­dling so­cial me­dia a lit­tle dif­fer­ently since be­com­ing a Leaf.

“I am def­i­nitely get­ting tweeted at more than I was when I was down with the Mar­lies,” Der­mott said. “It’s not nec­es­sar­ily shut­ting it off and not see­ing any of it, but kind of pick­ing your ar­eas. You see what you see, but you’re not dig­ging deep. You do your job but you don’t think about that stuff.” And at home? “About a month be­fore I got called up I got a new girl­friend and she is cook­ing pretty well for me,” Der­mott said, smil­ing. “It’s good to have her.”

TORONTO SUN FILES

The Maple Leafs keep send­ing rookie Travis Der­mott, pic­tured, over the boards re­gard­less of mis­takes he may make. The con­fi­dence from the coach­ing staff is help­ing the young de­fender im­prove his game.

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