One of the fun things that I think all players need is unsupervised ice time. It’s important to have practices with your team and obviously play in your games, but it’s always good to play a good game of shinny out on the ponds or during open hockey at your local rink. Some parents might ask why?? I think it’s important for players to try new things on their own without having a coach or private instructor barking down their throat. Learning how to be creative with the puck and try new moves is something that can be worked on in this environment.
Pond hockey and skating on an outdoor rink has to be one of the best experiences you can have. If you are a hockey player and you have never played pond hockey make sure get the opportunity sometime soon. I think it brings us all back to the roots of the game and it’s a very refreshing experience.
What Position Should I Play
I think it’s great for young hockey player to try different positions in Spring and Summer Hockey. There have been many NHL players that have switched positions during their NHL career or even before. It only increases your value as a player if you can play different positions; trust me!! I coached Dustin Byfuglien in the AHL and he has played both forward and defense in the NHL. If your coach needs someone to play defense for a game because he is short players that day, try it! Everyone wants to be the goal scorer but every team also needs the players that know how to defend and play defense as well!!