Throughout the week, 2013 draft pick John Hayden will be blogging for chicagoblackhawks.com about his experiences during his first Blackhawks Prospect Camp.
Today we started out at the rink at about 8 a.m. We got to work with [Strength and Conditioning Coach] Paul Goodman on some circuits – everything from squats to ladders. It was pretty tough. I wouldn’t say that the workouts were that intense, but it covered a lot of different exercises. I have a really good workout program back home, but it was really interesting to see what the Blackhawks do and what is important to them; it will help me in the future, as well.
Then we got back on the ice and had a really good practice. There was a lot of flow, and a really good pace. I think it got all of us ready for the scrimmages, which start tomorrow. Since a lot of the guys here have hung their skates up for a bit – taking some time to recover from the season – it can be tough to get back that quickly. But by the end of the second day, we were definitely at more of a mid-season pace. It’s good for us.
Since it is Chicago in July, part of the challenge of the day was the ice, especially since we were the second group to skate on it for the day. It was pretty beat up, but we had to battle – it became another hurdle to move past. The coaches kept telling us to put some pressure on the pucks, keep it moving; we battled through and did a pretty good job. In the long run, overcoming the conditions will be better for us.
Tonight will be our first real chance to get out in the city. We went out for a really good steak dinner not far from our hotel last night, but after that, most of us got back and went to sleep pretty early; yesterday was a long day and a bit of a grind. We’ve been trying to get as much rest as we can between sessions. But today, since we’ll be out of the rink earlier, we’ll probably get out a bit more.
It’ll be nice for me too; even though I come to Chicago a lot, it’s been a while since I’ve really been around the city. It will be a great chance to explore a little more.