When a player takes strides to improve their game it’s often uncomfortable until the point they have duplicated it so frequently that it becomes second nature.

At Vancouver Canucks development camp, the coaching staff helps their prospects get comfortable with being uncomfortable and teaches them to trust the process.

Abbotsford Canucks Goaltending Development Coach Marko Torenius says development camp is another touchpoint to see their prospects in person, see where they’re at in their development, and keep them aligned with the expectations of how to be a professional in the Canucks’ system.

“It's not a sprint, it's a marathon,” said Torenius. “It takes time to build those tools and it's important to understand that even when you don't have certain tools yet, you can build those tools over time. You have to be ready to go bravely on that journey and maybe go a little bit out of your comfort zone.”

Torenius stressed the importance of the first two days of development camp where there’s a lot of teaching and learning. The coaching staff breaks everything down to the basics - mindset, hard work, their philosophy and Canucks’ goaltending history – the sum of that is what they’re looking for at the NHL level.

Each goalie at dev camp has a roadmap which guides what they need to focus on and what their next steps are.

“Then we go onto the ice, and we basically break down drills. The coaches have information on all the goaltender’s strengths and where we can still take those next steps, and the players also understand that. Those two days are so important because it kicks off our whole journey with these guys,” Torenius said.

A quick chat during a water break at development camp or in between drills allows Torenius to share some ideas for the goalies to try, or reinforce things they need to work on, detailed in their roadmap.

“Those guys who aren’t here for the first time have an idea of what we want and then with repetition they can get a better understanding of what we are after. [Ian] Clarky has been creating that alignment of what type of goalies we want here in this organization and which type of guys represent the kind of goalie attributes we’re looking for. He's been big in creating a great working culture and we want to also bring guys in that fit that culture. Guys have been buying in and it's been it's been really nice to work with those guys,” he said.

Prospect goaltender Ty Young is attending his third development camp in Vancouver and says every year is more comfortable than the last.

“This camp is an incredible experience and I have been lucky enough to do it a few times. I feel more comfortable and have a little bit more confidence this time around, but I know the work is just beginning,” Young said.

The familiarity is also built in the offseason when Young, Torenius and Vancouver Canucks Director of Goaltending, Ian Clark have check-ins. While Young is playing in the WHL with the Prince George Cougars, Torenius sends him clips of his games and they discuss things he’s doing well and where he can make improvements. This open communication makes an easy transition to development camp with that built-in rapport already in place.

“It makes it way easier to be comfortable and talk with them about whatever you’re thinking, and bounce ideas off them. It's not an intimidating atmosphere when you talk to him throughout the year. It's really nice to be able to laugh with him, joke with him, but also just learn and soak up everything,” Young said.

The 6-foot-3 netminder is finding the individualized approach at this year’s development camp very helpful. He treats his development camp package like gold and says he’ll bring it home with him over the summer as a point of reference for his summer training and keep it with him in the WHL next season.

“You always can rely on those papers, coming into your fall camps and stuff. You know exactly what you need to work on from now until then and it's just awesome,” he said.

The 19-year-old says he’s working on consistency in his game and to achieve that he’s focusing on the details of his game. He talked about the importance of trusting his identity on the ice and leaning into his calm nature while working on the details that will help with his speed and rotations.

“It’s about doing everything so much all the little details that you know about your game, you have your trigger points, all your T-pushes, just like that simple stuff and you do it so much that you just rely on it so when you get in those big game situations, you start to feel the pressure, or maybe you’re in a slump, you have all those things to fall back on instead of just getting in your head. You just have that backbone of your game that you're just like, ‘Okay, we're good’ and you start fresh,” Young said.

“The first half the season wasn't the best for me and then my stats after Christmas started to look a little better, games started to feel a lot more whole. They [Canucks goaltending staff] help a lot, and there’s more of a mental aspect of that too, feeling more comfortable, knowing that you can do it and being confident in your game.”

This year at development camp, Young is a roommate with Finnish goaltender Aku Koskenvuo (who is also in his third Canucks development camp) and Young says the two of them and their whole goalie contingent is having a great time together.

"We talk about practice and stuff usually. If we got bagged or stuff like that, we'll be laughing about it, and we talk about random stuff too and mess around in the room, it's fun."

Young asks Koskenvuo questions about Finland and attending Harvard, and has learned that Koskenvuo is more of an outdoorsman and likes to hike. When Young has spare time, he likes to hit the links, but Koskenvuo isn’t really into golf.

As the week continues, Young will be dialed in, fine-tuning his skills, and working on improving his game one step at a time.