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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Porter has strong camp showing

With UND's top two scorers from last season gone and the No. 4 scorer pondering leaving, the Sioux will undoubtedly need guys to step up and fill the voids this season.

So, news of Chris Porter's excellent performance at the Chicago Blackhawks' prospect camp is welcome for Sioux fans.

Porter, a soon-to-be senior who was drafted by Chicago in the ninth round in 2003, scored a couple of goals at the camp and made people take notice.

"I felt great," said Porter, who roomed with former UND All-American Brandon Bochenski at the camp. "This was my third time there. The first couple of times, I was going in there just to get by. This time, with my senior year coming up, I wanted to make an impression for my future -- when I'm done here. It was fun for me this year. It was a good benchmark to see where I was at compared to other guys in the organization that have been drafted."

UND forward Jonathan Toews, also at the camp, said he was impressed with Porter's performance.

"Chris did unbelievable, he was flying out there," said Toews, who was drafted No. 3 overall by the Blackhawks last month.

Porter said he is going to heavily concentrate on finishing this offseason. As a freshman, the Thunder Bay, Ont., native scored 10 goals and he added 12 as a sophomore. Last season, however, he played a different role -- on the third line -- and his production dropped (seven goals).

Porter said coaches told him they liked the way he used his speed and size, but he's looking to contribute more offensively this season.

"I'm really working hard on that this summer, so hopefully it pays off," Porter said. "Whatever my role is, I will do it the best I can. My role will probably be more offensive this season. I'd like to pump in a few more goals.

"I also have to be a leader. I'm a senior on the team and it's one last chance at a national championship. A lot of things need to fall into place this year, but I like the way our team is made up. Hopefully, the hard work during the offseason pays off."

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