Jack Glover is going into the 2017-18 season a motivated player.
The 21-year-old defenceman, chosen 69th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft, had both shoulders operated on after the 2015-16 season.
"It was a very tough year for me personally - probably the hardest one that I've ever had playing hockey," said Glover. "It's not what happens to you, it's what you do about it. That's the mindset I've taken. The motivation to not have to go through a year like I did last year, that's all I need."
Glover's first surgery came in late March (2016), and the next procedure (on the other shoulder) came in April. He played 13 games with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers during the 2016-17 season, putting up two assists.
Due to the amount of rehabilitation time, the Minnesota native wasn't able to spend as much time in the gym preparing for rigours of an NCAA season.
"I get a lot of confidence from the way I prepare in the off season. When you're not able to do that, it takes a lot of your confidence away, it did for me a little bit," Glover said. "Just overcoming that and getting back to what got you here, that you weren't able to do. It's nice being able to this summer be back in the gym full throttle, and really getting after it, which I wasn't able to do last summer."
While he wasn't able to get to the point he wanted to physically, Glover used the time to improve his mental game by constantly going over video and finding ways to become a better player.
When he returned to the line-up, he knew he had some catching up to do. In fact, he's been catching up both on and off the ice at this week's Development Camp. It's the first time Glover has skated in Winnipeg since being drafted in Philadelphia.
"A lot has changed but there are still some familiar faces that have been around. It's nice to see them again," said Glover. "It's nice to be back on the ice with them again, and at the same time measuring yourself up against guys that you don't usually see throughout the year in college. That's huge. To see where you're at personally compared to guys your age that are going through the same stuff you are, just in different areas of the world."
He's also become a source of advice for fellow Jets draft pick Tucker Poolman, who had bi-lateral shoulder surgery in March and April of 2017, and isn't skating this week at Bell MTS Iceplex.
"I know exactly what he's going through, and it's no fun. I'm sure his shoulders have been bugging him for quite a while too. It's a big relief when you're through it," Glover said. "I definitely know the struggles he's going through right now. It's a funny thing you can relate to and joke about a little bit. It's a lot of work, it's pretty frustrating at times, but I think he'll be happy when he's done with it as well."
Now with two good shoulders, Glover is more motivated than ever to get back for his fourth season with the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
"I want to get back to where I know I can be. Be a contributor, be a big part of the team this year will be good," he said. "It was tough for me last year, the way it went for me personally, I don't want to go through that again. That's all the motivation I need to put in the work this summer, and be a contributor next year, and put myself in a position for success."
Video: DEV CAMP | Pascal Vincent
BRIDGING THE GAP
Manitoba Moose head coach Pascal Vincent says the focus this week is on small details of what it takes to reach the NHL level.
Wednesday's practice featured drills with work in small areas, along the boards, and in one-on-one situations.
"It's working on the basic, the foundation of what we think is important," said Vincent. "These are the things that we are going to be working on all year. We want to give them an idea of what it takes, and what you have to master to make it to the NHL, and to give yourself chance to make it to that level at some point.
"All those players are good, but there's a gap that is important enough, and you need to understand that gap in order to make it to the NHL and stay at the NHL level."
Thursday will be the final day of practice for the 34 prospects in attendance before Friday's scrimmage at Bell MTS Iceplex.
"We'll be looking at the scrimmage differently than people in the stands. We'll be looking at how the guys are executing what we've been talking about this week," said Vincent. "Not necessarily about the systems. We haven't really spoken about that. That's going to come in time and the guys pick it up pretty quick. More about picking up the pucks along the boards, how they play offensively and defensively, the one-on-ones, separating yourself from the defender, or gaining position on a guy that has the puck.
"At the end of the day, that's where the game is played. It's giving them a lot of information, but pushing it to another level."