Throughout the 2019 Development Camp, Winnipeg Jets prospect Nathan Smith will provide an exclusive look behind the scenes at his experience. Nathan was drafted by the Jets in the third round with the 91st overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. He recently finished up his second successful season with Cedar Rapids Rough Riders of the USHL and is committed to play in the NCAA with the Minnesota State (Mankato) Mavericks next season.
After a couple days of skating and workouts, Wednesday was a welcome change of pace.
The skating and fitness tests from Monday, along with the push-ups and shuttle runs have me pretty sore in the hip flexors. Even though I'm a guy who plays a lot of roller hockey, skating at this point of the summer - especially at this pace - takes a toll.
Thankfully we focused a lot on recovery in the gym on day three, so that helped me feel a bit better.
On the ice, we moved from rolling with the puck to getting off the boards. We were still split into groups of forwards and defenceman. So as forwards, we practiced taking outlet passes from one of the coaches and getting off the boards, or moving it quickly to the centre.
It's cool to see the Jets and Moose coaches on the ice with us. They've seen some really good guys, some skilled players. Paul Maurice and I had a quick chat after I had done one of the drills. It's good that he comes up to you. Thankfully, he was saying I did a good job on my last run through the drill, so that's nice to hear. Any advice we get from the coaches is stuff we can take with us when we get back to our summer training and makes us better players.
The good thing about taking buses to and from the rink, or out to dinner or any other plans we have, is we keep getting the chance to know each other better. You sit with different guys at dinner or with different guys on the bus. I think everyone is getting tighter. I'm hearing a lot of Finnish and some Swedish too. It's all good though. They're all pretty funny guys!
It sounds like on Thursday we're mixing things up a bit on the ice in terms of the groups, so I'm looking forward to that.