A good dose of reality

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

With the amount of cameras and microphones scrunched around Dominic Noel yesterday, you might have thought he was some kind of TV star.

Wait a minute. He is.

One of 4,000 hopefuls who entered CBC's Making the Cut competition with visions of hockey greatness lingering in his head, Noel, 24, outlasted the field to become one of six players who received an invitation to an NHL training camp.

Noel, a 6-foot-1 centre from Lameque, N.B., was impressive at the Ottawa Senators rookie tournament last week, scoring twice and adding an assist for the Maple Leafs freshmen.

But life with Jason Allison, Jeff O'Neill and the rest of the big Buds at the Leafs' NHL training camp is proving to be quite an eye opener for the undrafted forward, who has attended camps of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Florida Panthers in the past.

"Obviously I want to make the best impression," Noel told the scrum of media surrounding him. "I think it could be a great step to play with the (American Hockey League's) Marlies this year. It would be nice to be with Leafs but, obviously, they have some great players.

"The rookie camp went very well but it's not the same type of competition I'm going through right now. There's a little bit of adjustment. There's not much time to react and you have to make quick decisions.

"But overall I thought today went very well and hopefully I can build on that over the next few days."

Noel is careful not to bite off more than he can chew.

"I came in with the attitude of coming in flying under the radar as much as possible," he said. "I'm just trying to let my play do my talking and catch some eyes."


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