With the 2019 Rookie Showcase on the horizon, Ottawa Senators' 2016 first round pick Logan Brown hopes a new offseason training regime could help him start the season off with a strong showing in Belleville next weekend.
"I worked with a new trainer this offseason so it was my first summer with him and he was just incredible," said Brown who arrived in Ottawa early to continue his workouts with Sens strength and conditioning coach Chris Schwarz. "It was a whole new approach that consisted of longer workouts with more intensity. I ended up putting on about 10 pounds and I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life."
Brown shared that he can already feel the difference on the ice and hopes the benefits of adjusting his summer training will have an impact when the Sens prospects face off against the top young players from the Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets next weekend.
"I already feel the difference going up against my peers," he said. "I feel like I've gained the extra strength without giving up any of the conditioning so I'm definitely excited to put it to use."
This year will mark Brown's 4th appearance with the Senators at this tournament and, in addition to making an impact on the ice, he's hoping his previous experience can help guide some of the younger players attending.
"I remember when I was 18 years old at my first Rookie Showcase and I didn't really know what to expect or even how to act," said Brown. "I leaned on the young veterans then to show me the way and they were extremely helpful. Now it's my turn to take on that leadership role and I'm definitely looking forward to it."
Brown will have some level of familiarity at this year's Rookie Showcase with Belleville set as the tournament host for the first time in franchise history. During his first professional season with the Senators' AHL affiliate, Brown posted 14 goals and 28 assists in 56 games and he's looking forward to getting back on the ice at CAA Arena.
"There are a lot of us that played in Belleville last year at this tournament so it'll be good for us to go back and play in front of those fans again to kick off the season," he said. "The fans are unbelievable there and the rink and facilities are great so I know we're all pretty excited to get back on the ice in Belleville."
The 21-year-old centre also believes that this tournament can give the prospects an advantage heading into training camp.
"I think it definitely helps with your timing. You scrimmage and stuff during the summer but it's not the same as a real game," Brown said. "It can really provide you with a head start so it's important to make the most of these games to set yourself up going into main camp."
With NHL opportunities up for grabs this year in Ottawa, Brown was quick to point out the talented, young depth the Senators have in their system and hopes a strong showing in Belleville next weekend can give him an edge when training camp opens mid-September.
"When you look at the roster and all the prospects that are on their way up, you can see the core starting to form," said Brown. "The goal is to become a part of that core in Ottawa and the Rookie Showcase is a great place to continue working towards that."
The 2019 Rookie Showcase is set to run from September 6th-9th in Belleville with the Senators prospects participating in three games over that span. For more details on the tournament schedule and tickets, please click here.