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Zeev Buium Talks About How Winning Fuels Him 

Playing in the World Junior Championship is a very important tournament for players. Besides representing your country, young players who perform well seem to get a leg up for the rest of the season. Zeev Buium felt that and then some.  

“It adds a different level of confidence. With the World Juniors, everybody dreams about it when they’re a kid. To be on that team and to win was crazy,” Buium explained. “It gives you more confidence going into the second half of the year. To be able to be on that team and win. 

“When you get that winning feeling. When you win once you want to win again. A big thing was trying to put that away for the remainder of the year and focus on that goal was an actual championship (with Denver). David Carle and all the guys helped me with that. Coming back to Denver. Settling in and winning a National Championship. Like I was the entire year. I think that adds another layer of confidence

Playing elimination games is a great experience and Buium already has a lot of experience in them.  

“You get that first taste of it at the World Juniors. It’s even scarier because it’s a new group of guys. New systems and you have to get to know each other quickly. The turnaround is different. At Denver, it made me realize that the National Championship was in reach. We knew we could do it knowing how tight we were and how good the culture was. For me personally, after the World Juniors, I didn’t think we could lose.” 

Buium’s game changed in the second half of the season. He clearly got physically stronger and was now able to muscle his way to the middle of the ice and to the net a bit more. 

“Yeah, it’s a little bit of everything. Matt Shaw is unbelievable at what he does. In the gym, it gets us stronger and more prepared. I definitely got stronger throughout the year. It’s one of the advantages of playing college hockey,” Buium agreed. “You get to not play as many games as the major junior team. Kind of focus more on your workouts. You have more time throughout the day.” 

The NHL Combine is just around the corner and Buium is ready to shine there as well. 

“Matt will implement things I’ll do at the Combine. Biking, trying to practice the Vo2. Simple things like that. Nothing crazy. A little bit of mobility. Trying to get my ankles better,” Buium added.  

The interviews at the Combine are paramount. Many believe, and I’m one of them, that they are more important than testing, but the combination is still very important.  

“Some could argue that the interviews are as important or more important,” Buium emphasized. “With the interviews, they are trying to get to know you as a person and see if you’re the kind of person that they want. And their program and for me that’s a huge part. For us, we want to get to know them too, and see how we would fit in their locker room and their culture. That’s a huge part of why we are at the Combine. I think the testing is great for getting a baseline of where you are at…. Shai (his brother and Denver teammate) has said to enjoy it and take it all in.” 

College Hockey is great for young players because the older players can share their wisdom with the younger players. 

“At the NTDP, we’re all the same age. We are coming up together. But nobody is really ahead of anybody in that sense. The last two years there were amazing,” Buium said. “With college, you are playing with players who are older. More pro-ready. More mature mentally and physically. They teach you different things about yourself and the game.  

“For me, it was watching Shai and Sean Behrens play. You learn how to manage the game the right way and really become a winner and play as a winning defenseman.” 

Buium has a chance to be the best defenseman in this draft class. He will be ranked in the Top 3 and the team that gets him will be thrilled to add him to their prospect pool. 

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