For forward Drew Shore, the chance to be in South Florida this week was a chance to help young hockey players learn more about the game.
Between his busy schedule of helping run the hockey camps, physical therapy and attending Game 6 of the NBA Finals, the 22 year-old had a couple spare minutes off the ice to talk about his summer and of course the camp, among other topics.
Shore, thanks to recovering from his off-season wrist surgery, has been on the ice “pushing pucks and helping out the little kids” for the Ultimate Hockey School hosted by the Florida Panthers that started on Monday and runs through Friday.
With two different age groups, including players from Sweden and Russia, this year’s camp is definitely has an international flavor to it. Shore knows how instrumental camps like these can be for young hockey players.
“Hockey has turned into a year round sport,” said Shore. “These kids are always getting better and if they are able to have fun that’s the most important (part).”
For the Panthers forward, coaching at camps like these isn’t something new.
“I’ve coached a bunch of little camps the last couple years and its always fun looking back and thinking just a couple years ago you were at that age,” said Shore. “It’s a fun camp and (I’m) glad to be a part of it.”
Playing in 43 games for the Panthers this season, Shore was able to get a feel for playing professionally and grasp a better understanding of the NHL environment in his first year as a pro. With a tough season for the Cats, Shore is hungry for improvement amongst both himself and his team.
“Once you kind of taste a little bit of the NHL… and you want to win games and contribute, I think in a way it was motivating,” said Shore. “Because I’ve definitely taken my game to a new level.”
While the season didn’t play out the way he wanted to in the win column, Shore was extremely happy for his often-times linemate, Jonathan Huberdeau as the fellow rookie picked up the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie this past Saturday.
“I thought it was very deserving, I think that all 3 of those guys had good years, but I think that what he was able to accomplish was pretty phenomenal,” said Shore. “I mean he had a great year and it was fun to play with him. I’m sure that he’s just going to continue to get better and better.”
With his recent surgery, Shore said the main thing to preparing for the season was first “taking care of my wrist.”
“It is progressing ahead of schedule,” said Shore. “I’m excited to get back on the ice and stick handle and do stuff.”
Going to physical therapy every day has been extremely helpful in his recovery efforts and he cannot wait to get back to training at 100 percent capacity.
In the little free time he has, Shore has been watching the Stanley Cup and NBA Finals and even been able to attend Game Six thriller of the NBA finals between the Heat and Spurs on Tuesday.
“The (NHL) series has been great,” said Shore. The overtimes and stuff have been intense and fun to watch some of the best guys and just kind of see how they play in different situations and try and learn something new at the same time.”
Shore hopes to get to the beach and catch some sun before heading back to Denver for the rest of the summer as he continues his preparations for training camp.