On-the-job training for Leafs’ rookie Dermott
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.”
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.