had a busy summer, and things aren’t about to slow down for the Avalanche prospect. Selected by Colorado in the second round (50th overall) of the 2008 Entry Draft, Gaunce has since kept himself busy by attending the Avalanche’s development and rookie camps, among other endeavors.
Gaunce recently set aside some time to chat with ColoradoAvalanche.com about his learning curve, how he spent his summer and the upcoming season.This is your second experience with the organization (following the Avalanche’s development camp). Do you feel a little more comfortable this time around?
“I more comfortable with the guys, and the staff, and I know the practice complex a bit better. After playing junior for a couple weeks it’s tough to get adapted back to the speed but it will come.”
What did you learn from your experience at development camp and how are you trying to apply it now?
“I learned many things I need to improve on, especially my conditioning and nutrition. I also learned different techniques on the ice from our power skating instructor. I have been able to implement many of those things and I think I’ve improved my game.”You had a handful of former teammates (Steven Stamkos, Cody Hodgson and Michael Del Zotto) from the Markham Waxers organization who were also drafted this summer. Have you had a chance to catch up with any of them since?
“I talk to a couple of them frequently. We all got together for a fundraiser this summer. We talk about where we’re going this fall, how the development camps were…things like that. It’s very exciting knowing some of my friends will be playing in the NHL. It shows that the goal we worked at our whole life is actually attainable.”Have things slowed down for you at all? First the NHL Combine, followed by the Entry Draft and development camp. Now you’re here at rookie camp and it’s “go-time” again.
“I didn’t have much time to slow down but that was a good thing. I think by staying at a high pace, I won’t lag. Getting back on the ice is definitely a good thing. I took some time off the ice. I think it’s better for me not to slow down.”Were you able to spend any time away from hockey this summer?
“I was able to visit my family in New Brunswick. That was a very good time. I got to see a lot of relatives and got to spend some time with them.”What’s the one aspect of your game that you worked on the most during the offseason?
“My nutrition. Becoming healthier has been a big thing for me this summer. I think it’s really started to help me in many ways.”What part of camp are you most looking forward to?
“Getting on the ice with some of the NHL’ers. Seeing them around the rink is one thing but if I get the chance to get on the ice with them, it will be even better.”What about the upcoming season?
“I’m really looking forward to this upcoming season. I think my team in Mississauga is really looking like a contender. We’re much improved and our coach has implemented some new systems because of our improvements. We all have better chemistry and it’s a lot of fun going to the rink knowing we’re a better team.”