Junior defenseman Brent D'Iorio (Huntington, N.Y.) of the Under-16 Long Island Royals Midget National Team provided NHL.com with a special player's blog this week
Hi everyone! This is my third year playing the Royals and it has been a lot of fun, especially since I'm with friends who have been on team for as long as I have ... we all get along really well. This year, we're a lot better than in previous years, so it's exciting.
I actually played forward five years ago, but then they switched me to defense. I like defense now, but used to not like it as much. As a defender, I feel like you control the play more, you get to make more decisions no matter what anyone else does and, yeah, I get more ice time. The keys to playing good defense, in my opinion, are making good decisions, making a crisp first pass and helping the team get out of the zone whenever possible.
Coach Pat (LaFontaine) and Coach Steve (Webb) are different when it comes to coaching. Coach Pat helps us a lot with systems and our general play. He also helps us get motivated before the games and in between periods. Coach Webb talks to us about simple mistakes we might make and explains to us how we can get past it, move on and get focused.
I'm currently partnered up with Aidan Salerno and we work well together. It's good because we play differently so we complement each other. Aidan is more of a defensive-defenseman; he's big (6-foot-2, 185) and stays back. I'm always the one rushing the puck. My favorite NHL player has always been Chris Pronger
, even though I'm not a big defenseman (5-10, 160), I like to rush the puck and control it whenever I can.
I really like the "Y Athlete" tool that Coach Webb created. It really helps you work on your game and figure out what you did wrong. It really makes you think about what you need to do; what you have to do and what you can do to improve. One of the goals I posted was making the right decisions on the ice and striving to be the best player I could be.
It's not that difficult to update. After every game and practice, we can just do it right on the cell phone so it doesn't really require a lot of work, but you just have to be honest.