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Former Rams hockey player gets a tryout with the NHL

By Josh Beneteau

Former Ryerson men’s hockey forward Jamie Wise has a tryout with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.

Wise is one of 10 unsigned players on the Blackhawks’ roster for the 2014 NHL Rookie Tournament hosted by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The tournament runs from Sept. 13-16 at the Budweiser Gardens in London, Ont.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators will also be sending teams.

“Mark Bernard (Blackhawks’ director of hockey administration) called me about a month ago out of the blue and asked if I would like to come down [to London],” Wise said.

If Wise does well at the camp, he may be invited to the team’s main camp later this month.

But this isn’t Wise’s first NHL tryout. In 2012, he was invited to tryout for the Buffalo Sabres. Although he didn’t make the team, he did score a hat trick in one of the scrimmages.

When comparing the two, Wise said going to the rookie camp will mean he’s up against different, more difficult, competition.

“The first one was kind of different because it was a development camp,” Wise said. “I haven’t been to Chicago yet but I know it will be different because I’ll be playing against guys from other teams.”

Graham Wise, Ryerson’s head coach and Jamie’s dad, said he’s excited for what lies ahead for his son.

“We’re really happy he’s getting another look and opportunity,” Graham said. “As a dad, if your son puts the time and work in … you’re really excited.”

Last season with the Rams, Wise finished with 21 goals and 24 assists in 26 games.  His 45 points led the team and was good for second on the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) scoring list. He also had five points (four goals and one assist) in four playoff games.

At the end of last season, Wise told Ryerson that he would not be returning to the team.

“I didn’t really have a reason for leaving,” Wise said. “I felt like I had a bigger passion for hockey [than school].”

If he doesn’t make the Blackhawks, Wise already has another contract signed with the Quad City Mallards of the Central Hockey League. But right now, his only focus is sticking with Chicago for as long as possible.

“That’s just a fall back plan right now,” he said. “I go to play hockey and whatever they look at and see on the ice, I’ll accept.”

“I’m hoping to do the best I can and I’m going to try to do that and I’ll see what they say at the end of the camp.”

On Sept. 16, Wise signed a contract with the AHL’s Rockford Icehogs, minor league affiliate of the Blackhawks. He announced the signing on Twitter.

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