Jake Chelios said he hadnt been in the Chicago Blackhawks locker rooms since he was eight years old. The young defenseman, whos the son of Chris Chelios, said it was memorable to see them again.
Everything seems a little bit smaller, said the 21-year-old, who opted to participate in the Blackhawks prospect camp instead of the Detroit Red Wings this summer. Its really weird. I have scars from running around those weight rooms.
All nostalgia aside, Chelios is at camp this week to hone his game before going back to Michigan State in the fall. The comparisons to his famous father are obviously there, but Jake wants to be known here, or anywhere else he plays hockey, as his own man.
Growing up you learn to lock it out, said Jake, who played in scrimmages on Wednesday and Thursday with his dad in attendance. Its a good opportunity and I want to make my own name, especially in a city like Chicago where I keep being compared to him. But its a good opportunity and Im excited.
Chelios participated in the Wings camp the past two seasons. And while brother Dean went to Detroits camp this summer, Jake wanted to switch things up. Hes enjoyed his week in Chicago, where he played for the Steel, a Tier 1 Junior hockey squad, a few years ago.
As much as Jake wants to be known for his own game and not his dads, he still welcomes fatherly advice. And Chris Chelios biggest lessons came from his own career, which spanned 26 NHL seasons. The elder Chelios workout regimen helped him play well into his 40s, and that work ethic is what Jake appreciates most.
You can tell by the way he works. He just worked so hard. Im not the most skilled guy, but work hard and usually the results will come, said Jake, who is astounded by the length of his dads career. Its unbelievable, not even counting his youth (hockey career), going 26 years at the pro level and what it does to your body. At 21 I complain about bad knees right now.
Chelios has had a solid camp with the Blackhawks, scoring a goal in Wednesdays scrimmage. Its been a good week in Chicago for Chelios, who grew up watching his dad in a Blackhawks sweater and enjoyed putting on one of his own.
I grew up in it, he said. So putting it on was cool.