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Development Camp: Day 3

by Kristi Hennessy / Winnipeg Jets

The players were back at it again Wednesday morning at the MTS Iceplex starting with their on-ice warm-ups followed by their full practice. Hopefully they weren't still full from last night's fun filled events out at their group dinner.

The players were looking forward to putting their feet up and being served a nice Italian dinner but to their surprise, they  learned that their cooking skills would be put to the test as they had to make their own pizza's and chicken dishes! Sounds easy enough but this wasn't a frozen boxed pizza, the guys had to start from scratch with a full chicken or build a pizza from the dough up! When asked about it today, there were nothing but laughs all around so you knew they all must have enjoyed the event.

"We went out for dinner.... and ended up cooking our own dinner," laughed Lukas Sutter. "It's eye-opening I think it's one thing that's really important. If you can't cook it's going to be pretty tough to live on your own. I guess that's one of the things about the lifestyle."

Sutter...a name that speaks for itself, is another one of the newest additions to the Jets' organization. He was drafted in the second round (39th overall) at the 2012 NHL Draft.

The 18-year old plays for the Saskatoon Blades and is coming off of a breakout season recording 28 goals and 31 assists in 70 games, with a plus-15 and 165 penalty minutes. Everyone will have their eyes on the gritty two-way centreman, the newest Sutter to be drafted into the NHL.

"It's the lifestyle of a pro- it's a lot different than junior," he said of the learning curve. "The way you train and the way you carry yourself away from the rink is a lot different."

Carl Klingberg seemed fairly satisfied about his cooking abilities last night.

"I think everybody liked my chicken," said Klingberg. "I didn't cut them, some other guys did that but I just flipped them over a few times and put it in the oven. I made sure no one was sick today!"

Back to the serious "on-ice development camp stuff": Other than the two groups being switched for ice-times, not much was different today from yesterday. There were a few additional drills such as face-offs, one-on-one battles and more shootout drills but pretty similar all in all.

We were able to catch up with Cody Sol, a 6-foot-6, 242-pound defenceman. Yes, that looks like a typo but it's not, Sol is a big guy and he's just 21-years old. The Woodstock, Ontario native just played his final junior year last season with the Kitchener Rangers as a 20-year-old. He made it a good one, as the Rangers went deep into the OHL playoffs. Sol recorded 15 goals and 23 assists for 38 points in 62 games, with 180 penalty minutes. He added 12 points in 16 playoff games. So far, he's enjoying the camp and says it's nice to come here knowing that the next step for him is pro.

"The first day with the fitness testing, it was good to see where were sitting in the middle of summer. It's nice because now I'll head back to my gym in London and I know what I need to work to come into main camp."

When Sol was returned to the Kitchener Rangers last year, he was told by the Jets' management to focus on creating an edge to his game, and the rest will come- something he's been working on all year.

"This year I got a some power play time and a few goals which definitely helped out with my development. It's a mindset I got my mindset pretty early in the season and it stuck around.

"Because I had a lot of ice time I could work on things like my fighting skills. It's a lot of mental preparation and a little bit at the gym with punching bags and the trainers but a lot of it is mental by getting the mindset right."

The prospects then boarded their bus to head back to the MTS Centre for their off-ice workout followed by their next guest speaker who today was a sports psychologist. The hour session with the psychologist is to talk to the players regarding knowing how to deal with things that might come with being a professional athlete such as injury, rehabilitation, team building, communication, finance and career transitions.

After the session was complete, the players were free to head back to their room and most likely indulge in an afternoon nap before reconvening for another team dinner. Tomorrow, the development camp continues bright and early starting at 7:30am for a group breakfast.

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