Put a challenge before Ryan Johansen and consider it conquered.
Whether it was beating some of the best defencemen in the Western Hockey League or adding some NHL-prescribed muscle to his teenage frame, the challenge was soon checkmarked into an accomplishment.
Now the Port Moody resident is staring at a couple more tests - with relish.
First up is the Canadian junior hockey team's development camp, which opens today in Edmonton.
The other hits the ice a month later at the Columbus Blue Jackets rookie camp in Traverse City, MI. His summer camp tour started six weeks ago, when he took part in the Blue Jackets prospects camp.
Despite all the ice in his life, Johansen said it's great to have a chance to recharge the batteries before lacing up the blades.
"You're always looking forward to the summer, for time off from the game," Johansen, who turned 19 on Sunday, said.
"We got onto the golf course, relaxed a little, but after a few weeks you want to get back at it and on the ice."
The past 12 months have seen the Port Moody minor product take the confidence booster of being drafted fourth overall at the 2010 NHL Entry draft and ramping up his offensive contribution with the Portland Winterhawks.
He finished the 2010-11 season with 40 goals and 52 assists - good for seventh overall in the WHL - then posted a leagueleading 28 points in the playoffs.
The Winterhawks ended up falling to the Kootenay Ice in the league final.
Last Christmas, he took on a leadership role with Team Canada at the world juniors in Buffalo, and felt the disappointing sting of losing the championship when Russia stormed back to win 5-3.
Johansen earned an all-star spot for his efforts and gained a lot of supporters in the process.
It all reflects upon his main target, which is to impress upon the Columbus Blue Jackets coaching staff that he's ready for the highest level.
"If I ever had an opportunity to play again at the world juniors I want to do it, and with the tournament being played in Canada I think its going to be an incredible experience for those on the team," he noted.
It's that NHL challenge that has stayed front and centre since the slender teen saw his name start to rise up the charts. At Columbus' prospects camp in June, he and 29 other draft picks and rookie invitees were put through their paces. Among the free agents was Coquitlam minor product Wade MacLeod, fresh off his final year at Northeastern University.
"They pushed us pretty hard," said Johansen. "It wasn't really an evaluation camp by any means but it was an opportunity to impress the team scouts and coaches. Everyone in camp gained something."
Both on and off the ice, Johansen projects the confidence in his abilities that leaves one wondering how the six-foot-three, 205-pound forward can miss. His dedication and work effort have echoed those who believe he's earmarked early for a major role in the Blue Jackets' plans.
He is not taking anything for granted, however, keeping track of all the areas where he can improve his game.
Drafted as a rangy and slim 17-yearold, Johansen put an emphasis on getting stronger and bigger, resulting in a nearly 20-pound bulk-up. That extra muscle works well with the style of game he plays - a hard-skating, tough-to-check, puck moving centre.
"I feel I've made a lot of big strides in my game. I've gotten bigger, faster, stronger," he said. "(The muscle) has helped my game a lot, I feel I can dominate down low on the puck, and my game is to get to the net and distribute the puck."
Back off the ice, the question of golf reappears. At one time, Johansen was considered to be just as likely to follow the outdoor game as stick to hockey. He admits that hockey was the right choice.
"When I was younger it was 50-50 between hockey and golf. I was pretty crazy about both but I think I made the right decision."
Has his golf game evolved over the years?
"I'm not going to tell anyone my handicap, otherwise they'd look at me and say 'You thought you could go somewhere in golf?'" he said with a laugh.