BROSSARD - Cayden Primeau didn't just focus on fine-tuning his game this summer. Honing his mind was a real point of emphasis, too.
The 20-year-old American goaltender turned to books to achieve that objective, sharing via Instagram that he read several self-help works during the offseason.
"Anything that's self-help or as far as mentality or just trying to optimize yourself, I'm really interested in the brain. I'm really into psychology," revealed Primeau, who signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Canadiens on March 31. "It's always fascinated me, so reading books like that is a hobby of mine."
Interestingly enough, the Voorhees, NJ native actually studied psychology at Northeastern University before turning pro.
He began the first semester of his freshman year as a business major, but elected to change the focus of his education to criminal justice and psychology in his second semester in Boston.
"I liked business, but at the same I wanted to go into class wanting to learn and being able to use that information," explained Primeau, referencing the all-important academic switch. "I've always been intrigued with criminal justice, but more so the psychology part of things."
While Primeau is no longer enrolled at Northeastern, he's clearly furthering his schooling on his own, so to speak.
Admittedly, the Canadiens' seventh-round selection (199th overall) in 2017 internalized lessons aplenty from the books he checked off his offseason reading list.
"Just not worrying about what other people are thinking and just living in the present and doing your own thing were the main takeaways, but there were so many different points," mentioned Primeau, who claimed the Mike Richter Award this past season as the NCAA's top goaltender. "I really pride myself on trying to be mentally strong and trying to stay even-keeled. Any way I can try and take in information and utilize it to my advantage, that's really what inspires me to read that material."
Primeau confirmed that his next read will be Becoming the Iceman: Pushing Past Perceived Limits by Wim Hof and Justin Rosales.
"It's just about optimizing the brain and getting into the deeper part of the mind to calm yourself," said Primeau. "Hof sits in ice baths for hours on end and he's perfectly fine. I can definitely learn from someone like that, especially being a goalie."
The young netminder has also been making a concerted effort to enhance his overall well-being from a nutritional standpoint as well.
He took that to heart during the offseason.
"This summer I knew that I needed to take things up a notch. Nutrition was always something I'd been interested in, but not something I fully took advantage of," said Primeau. "When I started paying more attention to my nutrition, it's not drastic, but over time, little changes make a difference. I feel like I've got more energy. Also especially in the summer, recovering and trying to gain muscle, I definitely tried to get stronger. Food can help."
These images suggest that Primeau is no slouch in the kitchen. He gets the bulk of his recipes from browsing social media, but friends will also send him suggestions whenever they come across something interesting.
As for his favorite creations…
"My specialty is smoothies," mentioned Primeau with a smile. "I feel like they really set the mood for the day. It helps maintain healthy habits throughout the rest of the day."
And he's hoping that his Instagram followers will follow suit when they see the final products online.
"When you're trying to optimize yourself, I feel like health is the best way. I'm just trying to have fun with it at the same time," concluded Primeau. "I feel like if I try to have fun with it, other people can see it and then try to do the same."