Jul 11, 2018

Development camp is underway in Saint Paul for Minnesota Wild prospects. After players arrived Sunday evening, Monday was spent on physical, off-ice testing and introduction by the hockey operations departments.

When Tuesday rolled around, it was time to hit the ice.

More than 40 players were split into two teams, Team Green and Team White. The first ice session of the day focused on skating, and while one group was on the ice, the other was hitting the weight room for strength and conditioning.

After lunch, players met with team nutritionist Gary Bowman for a session on nutrition and wellness. Maintaining strength throughout the season and keeping one’s body in shape is paramount, especially with a sport as grueling as hockey. Bowman discussed with players the importance of rehydrating and refueling: putting the right kinds of protein in the body to maximize returns on the ice.

Once the nutrition presentation was finished, the teams once again hit the ice for a physical training session. With Team White on the ice first, the group cycled through drills. Minnesota and Iowa coaches pushed the players on 1-on-0s, 2-on-0s and battle drills. The session started with a highlight goal from 2017 NHL Entry Draft pick Jacob Golden, who exploded a water bottle with a wrist shot.

Following Team White was Team Green, who participated in the same style of drills as the group before them. Two-on-0s with two backcheckers, 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 zone battles and 1-on-1s designed to get the legs moving and the blood pumping. Some of the players hadn’t been on the ice since April and working through the drills is the first time they skated on ice since last season ended.

To conclude each ice session, the players took laps around the rink and stretched at center ice. A quick meeting with the coaches and it was time to hit the showers.

“It’s good for myself, personally, because of not playing all of last season,” said forward Mason Shaw. “It gives me a chance to test myself again and just being around the same guys, competitors who are going after the same job. It’s good to come here, learn a lot and do a good job.”

The afternoon ice sessions were the last of the day, as everyone went to dinner, but the night still wasn’t over. At the hotel following dinner, Bowman once again stressed the importance of nutrition, this time with a cooking and meal prep seminar. When with Iowa or Minnesota, this is the first time players aren’t living with parents or a billet family, so knowing how to cook and meal prep properly is a very important skill to hockey organizations. Bowman stressed how easy it is to meal prep and eat the correct foods with just a little bit of preparation and how to maximize protein and amino acids when out on the road.

A quick night’s sleep and they’ll be back at it again. Not a bad second day at development camp. 

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