WILD PROSPECTS SWEAT IT OUT ON DAY TWO OF DEVELOPMENT CAMPJul 11, 2018
The bodies are a little sore and the gear is a little sweaty. But any day on the ice is a good day, and today was the second day of development camp for Minnesota Wild prospects.
Wednesday was broken up into two ice sessions for Team Green and Team White, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The morning session began with Iowa goaltending coach Frederic Chabot working on tracking the puck and rebound control and recovery with the goalies, while the forwards and defenseman focused on skating and edge work. After 20 minutes of specialized training, team coaches once again worked with the players on skill development. The first drills worked with the full ice and as the session progressed, the crowd broke up into smaller sections for smaller group work.
The favorite drill of the day was a mini-game with a faceoff circle serving as the playing surface. With a goalie in each net, coaches tossed a puck into the circle for a 2-on-2 battle to score. Players were forced to use body positioning, stickhandling and precision shooting in order to succeed, and the result was some impressive individual efforts.
“We’re getting familiar with them, not just as players but as individuals,” said Iowa head coach Derek Lalonde. “Getting to know these kids, and this is the first step. We know what the scouts think of them, but now we get to know them as individuals for ourselves.”
While one team was on the ice, the other team was in the weight room. The morning session provided a great opportunity for the players to work with strength and conditioning coach Sean Skahan. The dynamic workout targeted all parts of the body, but the players were especially inclined to focus on core and leg muscles. From weighted pull-ups, ball exercises and squats, Skahan made sure each and every prospect sweated before he left the weight room.
During lunch, players were treated to a seminar from Premier Sports Psychology about how to deal with the stress of the season as well as tips for staying focused during the year. Players watched videos demonstrating how easy or difficult it can be to focus and how some things can be missed when paying attention to just one thing. Premier Sports Psychology also stressed just how important sleep is throughout the season, especially making sure the players get enough at night and don’t take too long of a pre-game nap.
The afternoon ice session was broken up into three parts, focusing on Team White forwards, Team Green forwards and both team defenseman. The forwards continued to work on stickhandling and shooting, while also working on deflections in front of the net.
The blueliners finished up the day’s activity working with Iowa associate coach David Cunniff. Cunniff had the defenseman work on their skating with full ice skating drills as a warm-up before finishing the session with more shooting and puck recovery workouts.
“We want to accomplish a lot of core habits,” Lalonde said. “We’re talking about breakout habits, puck support, skating, things like that. We specifically have our practices to be playing fast but also some competition in there too.”
With the day coming to a close, the players rested up, for tomorrow sets up the first scrimmage of development camp. It’s tough to replicate game situations in drills, so the scrimmage gives players the chance to really showcase their talents and start some friendly competition between Team Green and Team White.