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Development Camp Blog Part 2 - Ryder Donovan

by Ryder Donovan @GoldenKnights /

There are so many things that all of us prospects have gotten out of camp in just two days. It's crazy to me how everything we've done so far has just made so much sense and makes it so easy to have a positive experience here.

What we're working on and learning on the ice is fantastic, but talking to other players, coaches and advisors here is extremely special. Guys have been sharing stories about their experiences around hockey and I've gotten a sense of how everyone has come from different places to be here. I can listen to what the coaches and advisors have to say for hours, it's unbelievable to hear about what they've done in their hockey lives.

When we got off the ice yesterday, I had some great conversations during my cool down and just stuck around soaking it all in. My roommate, Mason Primeau, and some of the other guys, we all walked back over to Red Rock and got dinner at Yard House after practice yesterday. We all kind of looked at the menu and thought about the things we've learned here about nutrition and kept our plates on the healthy side. Once we finished dinner up, we all went back to our rooms to wind down and get ready for bed. Getting a full sleep is so important here because your body is just going and going all week. Before hitting the pillow, we called down to get a 6:15 wake-up call.

Phone rings right at 6:15 and Mason pops out of bed to take a shower while I roll over to catch an extra couple minutes of sleep before starting the day. Once we were both ready, we walked over to the rink to get the day going with some breakfast. I'm not the pickiest eater, but I don't want to give my body any surprises this week, so I've been keeping it light with some fruit, yogurt and some oatmeal. The options they have here are perfect for us and, if you're not eating right here, you're doing something wrong.

Our day on the ice started with testing. It's always good to go through that and show yourself and the team what you can do, but man, am I glad that's over. Our group got through the testing because we got to look forward to our tour of T-Mobile Arena right after. I've only seen it on TV before today but, when we were standing on the concrete floor where the ice goes during the season, I looked around and thought about how crazy it is to have this as your home rink. Everything about it is state-of-the-art, I was taking photos arena and the area outside for my family and my buddies back home. I've been to the Xcel Energy Center back in Minnesota where I saw some Wild games and played in the Minnesota High School Hockey Tournament. That place gets loud, but I can't even imagine how crazy The Fortress gets on game day.

Later in the day, we had another practice to close out the long day of skating. I've worked with lots of coaches throughout high school, juniors and other teams, but it's so cool to have NHL coaches giving me feedback on my game. They found a handful of areas that they want me to work on this week that I've never even considered before. I'm going to work those things into my game this week and eventually into next season at Wisconsin to see where the small details can help me improve overall. Those things add up.

We're working so hard on the ice and in the weight room, but honestly your body adapts pretty quick. Once a workout is over, you definitely feel it, but in the moment the excitement of just being here makes you forget any pain you have. I can't wait to get going tomorrow.

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