CALGARY, AB -- When Patrick Sieloff was sidelined with a groin injury, he could have taken a step back from training and eased into the off-season.
Instead, he turned his misfortune into an opportunity to further his development.
The 6-foot defenceman headed out to Calgary at the tail-end of the Flames season, getting a chance to witness what an everyday NHLer goes through while training. The weeks he spent in Calgary impacted Sieloff's approach to workouts and the emphasis he placed on strength training.
"That helped me a lot, to see how they do things around here," Sieloff said after Friday's practice at WinSport.
"I took it to heart and said, 'This is my time. I've got to get better. I've got to put on some weight.'"
While he was no shrieking violet on the ice before his injury, he knows the competition is only going to get stronger as he progresses throughout the ranks. In order to maintain his gritty, in-your-face game, he knew he needed to add on some muscle. The 19 year-old has put in a lot of time at the gym over the last few months and has put on 15 lbs.
"You see guys at this level now playing and they're a different breed. They don't play a soft game. You go into a corner, you know you're going to get hit. That's the kind of game I like to play - a physical game, keeping it simple and getting it in deep."
While Sieloff has one more year of junior eligibility and can head back to Windsor next season and help the Spitfires rebound from a tough 2012-13 season, many believe the rearguard could make quite the push at the Flames fall training camp. He appreciates that people have faith in his abilities, he isn't looking that far ahead. Right now, he's focused on his summer training regimen.
"My only concern right now is me. I will control what I can control, on the ice and off the ice," Sieloff stated. "That's in their hands. All I can do is control what I need to do."