Jack Eichel Adds Some Weight in Preparation For His Debut in the NHL
One of the conditions for Jack Eichel signing a professional contract, was that he would start his rookie campaign with the Buffalo Sabres. While reaction to this was likely mixed, at least Eichel is doing everything possible to be as prepared as he can be for the 2015-16 season.
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This includes putting on some additional weight. This is important, because no matter how talented you are, the physical side of the NHL can often be a shock for newcomers.
The 18-year old discussed his new physique with Arpon Basu of nhl.com: “I put on a little bit of weight, about 10 pounds of weight, and kept the body fat down.
“I did a lot of lifting, a lot of training. I actually trained with Noah (Hanifin). Every day, me and Noah.”
It turns out that Eichel and Hanifin are part of a big group of NHL players, who have been travelling to Foxborough, Massachusetts for their training sessions. Their trainer, Brian McDonagh, has an impressive resume, which includes working with a lot of players from the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
Eichel explained to Basu the rationale behind his bulking up: “You want to think you get faster, more powerful, and you want to think your conditioning level’s better.
Apr 9, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston University forward Jack Eichel (9) skates up ice past North Dakota forward Connor Gaarder (13) during the third period of a semifinal game in the men
“You want to think you’re more prepared for the year, and I think that I am. I think I did everything I could in terms of putting my best foot forward in preparation for the season.”
From the conversation, it’s obvious to see this is a young man who is motivated and ready to contribute to the Sabres, right from the word go. As such, its unsurprising to hear he didn’t take much of a break during the summer.
Eichel said: “I skated all summer three or four times a week and worked out four or five times a week. I skated with the guys I worked out with two or three times a week and we have a league that I play in.”
In addition to this, the 2015 second overall draft pick worked with his skills coach (Kim Brandvold) once a week. This was also the second summer he spent time with his shooting coach, Glen Tucker.
Eichel seems mature for his age, as evidenced by his response, when Basu asked him what would make the upcoming season a personal success for him: “Obviously you want your team to have success.
“I think that’s the most important thing, for us to win more games than we did last year and to feel good about ourselves…I think we have big expectations in Buffalo – we want to win, and that’s what we’re going to try and do.”
When pressed a little more, the Chelmsford, Massachusetts native finally spoke about his personal aims, albeit still relating it to the Sabres as a whole: “I just want to do whatever I can to help the Sabres win games.
“That’s how you find individual success. If you have a part in wins and you think you’re contributing to the team in one way or another, I think that’s how you find success and that’s what I want to do.”
Overall, Sabres fans must be very excited about what Eichel brings to the organization. With his combination of skill, work ethic and maturity, the team have a lot to look forward to.
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