Given your skillset..
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11-11-2013, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Originally Posted by
Personally I think with some time, better conditioning program (not that mine is bad, mines pretty good now and I would only like to do more with it, and I would need a lot of on-ice time that my skills could give me some quality time at the NHL level.
As far as skills are concerned. There is no way my skills are good enough to be NHL caliber. I am in no way the fastest skater, I am in no way the best stick handler or have a hard shot. Im big, but not that big Im 6'1 and 185lbs lean (growing though, with Crossfit lol). What would get me by is my conditioning, my desire to defend, my face-offs, my intelligence in the game of hockey. You would call these intangibles. And they have proved to be a great value to me at every level I have ever played or played against which include Varsity Hockey, Junior hockey, College players, semi pro players and even guys who played in the NHL at one part of their life.
If you want to hear some stories, I have time to share below...
I had hardly any real experience as a Varsity hockey player evn though I have been on the team for two years as a Fresh and a Soph. Basically, only 1 kid of 7 played before Junior year more than 5 minutes a game, if that. And I was normally a forward but asked to play Defense. Dumb haha. We all have that one coaching staff...
Well I tried out for Travel the year before and I failed in making the team. I was the youngest by a year and I only had In-house experience. Ive played for 12 years of hockey but in house, is inhouse. Some good guys came out of that league but still...
Well my Junior B team with that experience I made the first cut. I was shocked as I felt tired, lost and confused. haha. Im sure it was cuz of my size and decent skating. The 2nd day I felt better.
basically this is my point for most of the stories. I adapt quickly at hockey speeds. Not saying I adapt at everything easily, but hockey I do because of strong hockey IQ and athleticism.
2nd day I felt much better. Better positioning and stronger play. Made that cut too. Shocked again. Now the bad news is that the 3rd day I got cut on the final day. I was proud though because everyday of playing with these kids I got better and better and better. Stronger, smarter, and quicker. Quickness is huge. Not just skating but decision making.
After 4 years of Varsity hockey, 2 real good years (my last year I was actually top 20 in points and top 12 in goals). NY varsity hockey is not to shabby either. Some great players went on to play top Junior and top college as well as other ventures in hockey. Its not junior level but its solid.
Well, after a year away from the game at a real competitive level (only playing Division C-B mens league) I made a Division 3 club hockey team. They were national champs and evn beat up on some D3 hockey teams non club. Played with them on one day of try outs and made it. Took me some time to adapt but I did. Everyone on the team except me had some junior experience.
Sadly, just like my Junior C team (another team I tried out for in my senior year of HS) I could not afford College hockey club. I had to stop playing before I barely started. Ughhh.
Now as a 23 year old, I still play mens league. I play a few times a week and I stay very well conditioned as my hobby is nutrition and strength and conditioning. I only played Division B and C and D hockey in these midnight leagues as the Division A teams are only like 3-4 teams and there never looking for players.
Well, finally got a chance to play for a Division A team. Stoked.
My first few shifts I played D because we were needed.
Let me explain first that there are only 4 teams in this Division A and it was teh first round of the playoffs. My team, though very strong team, were #4 in the rankings and thus we played the #1 team. As a 6'1 kid, i was one of the tallest on my team (maybe #3) and compared to the opposing team I was just another face in the crowd.
This #1 team were made up of all top level players as I was told. The whole team was great and many played top level college and some even the AHL. I heard some even got close or had a brief history in the NHL. So this team was nasty.
My first few shifts were solid. I tried to dump the puck around the boards for a clear and it was grabbed and passed to the front of the net and we gave up our first goal. I felt terrible and out of place. I was screaming in my head. 1-0 which stinks cuz we only had 10 guys at the time and then we were keeping competitive for the first 8 minutes and than tht ****.
Few more shifts at D, and by the time I was pushed to forward at the last 2 minutes, we had already been down 3-0. None of those I was even on the ice for.
I got pushed up to forward and played my game. Asked for center as I like two things about center. Playing down low in our zone and faceoffs. Once I got moved up... we finally scored. Not my line, but we went into the 2nd 3-1.
The game ended 11-1 hahahahahaha
Incredible. Some bad breaks and some great play by them
But what I was proud of myself and my line mates was that we kept at it and we never gave up one goal. Not one. Besides the one i gave up in the first 8 minutes as a defender.
11 goals, and I was a -1.
I actually won a few faceoffs. I would say def more than 50% and some of these centers were really going at it.
I would like to say they didnt care, but that is a lie. They played our bodies, they got gritty and we fought back. I am sure there entire team was not going 110% but I wont say none of them were trying.
Besides the faceoffs, we did almost give up 2-3 goals but we also almost scored 4 of our own. I even had a shot on goal which I should have scored.
It all came down to comfort. It took me a half a game to get into the new level of speed and skill. I could have made a few better passes out of the zone, for some reason I remember 2-3 break outs that could have led to odd man advantges but my passes for some reason went from flat to a puck wheel. It was pretty bad ice lol but ill blame my comfort level.
If i was more comfort I would have probably scored on that goalie too.
So basically, long story short on the BS i am telling you.
I am pretty athletic, i am solid hockey player and have solid skills. My skills alone wont land me anything in the NHL but if I could devote more time to on-ice and off-ice conditioning and training I always thought I could have a shot at the NHL.
Its just about me getting use to the speed.
I just did not have the best path and when i was young I was not dedicated enough.
I cant say I am not stopping my dreams. I love acting like I have a shot at the NHL. I still train when i can when im not working full time.
I always thought maybe I could work my skills up and one year go play for the 2nd team in Medvescak (Croatia team that plays in the KHL). Then Ill try to make the 1st team that played in the Austria league at the time. Become a local hero (fantasizing lol) play for the national team. Help the team make its way into the KHL...
Do some good over in the KHL. And maybe get one shot at an NHL or AHL team.
Ill probably still be dreaming that when I am 30 lol.
Its fun even if it wont come true. Its one of the many reasons why I hit the gym everyday.
Wow... thanks for sharing this! It seems like you've really had an incredible journey so far, and it's just beginning! Best of luck to you. Remember, the game is 95-98% mental. Never give up on your dreams.
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