At training camp in 2002, I was with the then-Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and it was business as usual.

Besides all the skating and testing that NHL teams go through each September, I always enjoyed camp because every new season brought hope and excitement in every locker room. And until the regular season started every team was in first place.

Like people are seeing this season in Ottawa, young players, especially first-round draft picks, bring a lot of hope and anticipation for the future.

In 2002, our No. 1 pick was Joffrey Lupul and I got a chance to meet him when he was 18 and attending his first NHL camp.

After watching a few times in our scrimmages, I was convinced this guy was going to be a star.

For an 18-year-old kid, he had all the tools: He was big, he could skate and he could really fire the puck.

Lupul was sent back to WHL's Medicine Hat Tigers and I was traded a month later to the Nashville Predators.

I played with a lot of players during my career and some I would keep tabs on after I was traded, and even though Lupul and I never played together, I followed his career because after just seeing him play briefly in his first pro camp, I was convinced this guy was going to be the real deal.