In the past couple of months, I have chatted with some of the top prospects and players in the game and asked them how they are handling staying safe, but also staying in the best shape they can during this time. Here is what they had to say.
Garland, a native of Scituate, Mass, tallied 39 points in 68 games for the Arizona Coyotes this season. He spent much of the hiatus in Phoenix finishing rehab on his injured knee, as well as starting to train during the lay-off.
Garland said back in April he was doing his best to maintain a connection with his trainers.
I’m in constant contact with my trainers back home as well as the trainers here. I was injured and I finished rehab, I’m good now. You can’t skate, which is the biggest problem right now, so I may just play street hockey, working on my hands and my shot and my strength, which is huge for me. Unfortunately, I cannot work on my skating which is something I really like to work on. Talking to guys in Boston to see what we can do together, work on shooting pucks together. It’s a lot easier when you’re training with other guys. Otherwise, I’ll be training on my own, stick-handling, shooting to pass the time.
A native of Whitefish, Mont. and a projected first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Sanderson highlighted his ability to spend time with family and to be outside in the mountains as a way to stay active during this time.
“I’ve been lucky enough to skate for a couple weeks at the little rink here in Whitefish. I’ve been also working out a lot and getting a lot of outdoor activity too. Whitefish is a unique place, and it’s nice to see my family right now because I didn’t get to see them a lot throughout the hockey season. Not being able to workout and train with my teammates has been hard, but I’ve been in contact with them every day so that’s nice.”
Perreault, another projected first-round pick in the coming draft, also spoke about spending time with family as an advantage of being home.
He also said his father, Yanic, who spent 15 seasons playing in the NHL, has helped his training during the long stretch of inactivity.
“These times are pretty difficult, so staying home and spending time with family is pretty fun. I don’t get to see them very much throughout the year, so being home with them is pretty special. It gives me the time to work on my skills and get better. I have my dad here to teach me some new stuff, so it’s a good time to enjoy the down time, and it’s good to get ready for next season too.”
Thomas, a top Los Angeles Kings prospect who starred for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships said in an interview on the BTS Hockey Podcast that he has created his own home workouts, and is trying to capitalize on what he can do while he is at home.
“I’m doing all I can. I have a stick-handling (trainer) that I have and I can stickhandle on it no matter where I am. I have these rollerblades that mimic skating on ice. I’ve been jogging to keep my lungs in shape, as well as my overall fitness. Home workouts, shooting pucks. It’s all anyone can do right now. Trying to take the opportunity, knowing that some players might be just playing video games right now. I’m trying to make myself as in-shape as possible.”
Nelson, the first-overall pick in the 2020 OHL Draft by the North Bay Battalion said he did a lot of things to stay in shape, but that he was also working hard to create a well-rounded training regimen to make sure he’s in the best shape possible.
“I’m working out three times a week with a sports specific trainer, the other three days a week I’m going for runs, doing cardio, lifting weights. Stick-handling four to five times a week, and going out on my rollerblades two or three. Doing my school, keeping my grades up as high as possible as well because that’s very important.”
Athletes from all over are doing their best to stay in the best shape that they can muster during this unprecedented time.
As NHL training camps start to heat up, and with the playoffs right around the corner, we can only hope that staying healthy is the number one thing that is sustainable in the coming months.