Milton Alumnus Rob O’Gara Officially Added to the Bruins’ Roster
by Catie Wise on Friday, October 21st, 2016
Last spring, I was fortunate enough to sit down with Milton alumnus Rob O’Gara for an interview. Since then, O’Gara’s hockey career has skyrocketed in many ways, the biggest being his addition to the Boston Bruins roster just over a week ago. O’Gara graduated from Milton in 2012 and continued his hockey career at Yale University, graduating in the spring of 2016. O’Gara and his fellow bulldogs won the NCAA Division One Championship in his freshman year. O’Gara started his professional career last spring, once his Yale season ended, when he was pulled up to the Providence Bruins, the Boston Bruins’ AHL team. I was fortunate enough to interview him again, since his official entrance into the NHL.
Q: What was the process like for you this fall?
A: The process this fall was a pretty crazy one. It all started with rookie camp on September 15th which consisted of practices and exhibition games with prospects and rookies in the Bruins system. That went well, so I was invited to main training camp with the rest of the team about a week after rookie camp started. Training camp was basically like a long tryout with long practices and preseason games where everyone was constantly being evaluated. We often didn’t know where we stood in terms of how we were doing compared to everyone else at camp, but fortunately I performed well enough to earn a spot on the team to start the year.
Q: What was your reaction to the news of being added to the roster?
A: I had no idea what to expect going into camp so when I got the news that I had made the Boston Bruins I was pretty astonished. I knew I did well and I knew I belonged there, but it took a while before it actually clicked that I had made the team. It’s an incredible honor and, frankly, a dream come true, and it was awesome to tell my close family and friends soon after.
Q: Do you think your Milton career helped prepare you in any way for this process?
A: Milton is where this whole process began for me, and I can confidently say that I would not be where I am today had Coach Cannata not recruited me to come there back after my first junior year of high school. Life at Milton taught me a lot about the person I needed to be in order to be successful, whether on the ice, in the classroom, or life in general. Milton and everything I learned there led to an easy transition to college life at Yale, which helped a ton in my transition to professional hockey, so I would say Milton did play a significant part in preparing me for what I’m doing today.
Q: What are your goals for the upcoming season?
A: My primary goal for the upcoming season is to solidify myself as a consistent contributor for the Boston Bruins. There is a lot that can occur day to day in the professional hockey world so however the season goes and wherever I find myself at any time I want to make sure that I am staying positive, learning as much as I can, improving every day, and most importantly having fun. I think having those things in mind as more general goals will allow me to have the most successful season possible.
Q: Are there any mentors from Milton you had that still have an impact on you?
A: I’ve been lucky enough to keep in touch with a lot of faculty members that impacted me during my time at Milton and even those I haven’t been able to keep in constant contact with left a lasting impression from my time at school. Obviously Coach Cannata was a very important part of my time at Milton, but my advisor Mr. Edgar, my house head Mr. Bean, my ISS leader Dr. Selter along with many other faculty members helped play a big role in setting me up for success post graduation.
Q: What are things you plan to do/ mottos you want to love by as you enter this new stage of your hockey career?
A: The thing I’ve been telling myself since the beginning of camp was to control what I can control. There was a lot of mystery each day in that we often did not know what was going to happen in terms of cuts and whatnot, but stressing about that stuff would have not been productive. Staying positive and putting my best foot forward every day kept me focused on the goal to make the team while not worrying about anything else that was going on and I think that helped a lot in providing this outcome.
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