Nick Bjugstad is back in South Florida as a guest instructor at the Florida Panthers Ultimate Summer Hockey School at the Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs. FloridaPanthers.com caught up with the center to get an update on how he is spending his offseason.
Nick Bjugstad chats with FloridaPanthers.com about his golf game, offseason workouts, graduating from the University of Minnesota and more.
How have you been spending your offseason so far?
I’ve been training back at the University of Minnesota with my strength coach. We have a lot of alumni that work out there, including Paul Martin and Tomas Vanek. It’s a pretty convenient deal and it’s great to hang out with all the alumni.
Do you ever see fellow Panthers prospect and Minnesota native, Kyle Rau?
I see him every day in the weight room and we hang out quite a bit. We’re pretty good buddies. We were roommates my last year there in college. He’s a great player and a great competitor, so it’s good to see him. He’s getting better every day and he’s working really hard too.
What is a typical day of offseason training like?
Up until this summer I’ve always had to take summer classes, so it’s kind of nice that I can just put all my time and effort into training. Basically I get up in the morning, have a little breakfast, head to the rink and weight train for a couple of hours. Early in the summer you gradually get into skating and by the end of it you’re skating almost every day. Basically just working out and skating and doing some other little things that can help you get better along the way. I basically revolve my whole day around the training and skating.
How do you spend your downtime when you are home in Minnesota?
I fish quite a bit with my father. I also play golf, trying to work on the golf swing. Also just hanging out with my friends and family too. It [Minnesota] is a great place to be to just hang out and relax, so it’s good to be back for the summer.
Did you get a chance to watch the US take on Ghana at the World Cup?
Me and Huby were watching it. I’ve never actually watched a full soccer game so I was pretty interested in it. It was awesome to watch the USA do that well and beat Ghana. They’ve had some struggles with them in the past so it was good for the whole country. Huby was even rooting for USA as a Canadian, so that was fun to see.
What is it like coaching the kids at these youth camps?
These kids are very passionate and into it, so it’s fun to get out on the ice with them. I think they’re enjoying their time as well. It’s just a great experience for these kids to be able to get better in the summer and for us to help them out a little bit.
You graduated from the University of Minnesota with your class. What was that like?
It was pretty surreal. I didn’t know if I’d be able to pull it off in time and I kind of crammed some schooling in there at the end. It was definitely an honor, being able to sit there with my classmates that I was there all three years with, and I also made the family pretty proud. It was good to be there and it was a great experience.