Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Learning what it takes to be a pro

That's the main focus of Jets Development Camp

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It is part on-ice training, off-ice testing and an indoctrination to all things Winnipeg Jets.

But, most of all, what this week provides for 38 players in the Jets' crosshairs -- some of them top prospects, others late-round draft picks and some of them free agents -- is something much more important: what it takes to become a professional.

"It's not an evaluation process, it's an opportunity for them to get on the ice and get familiar with the guys and everybody in the organization," said Jets co-ordinator of player development Jimmy Roy. "A big portion of this is working with these kids off the ice. What they should be doing in the summertime, how they can work out like a pro. Pro hockey is a lot different than junior and college and the things they can learn from some of the guys we have here will be a big help to them."

The Jets D-Camp participants arrived Sunday and gathered for a team meal that night. There were a series of baseline tests done Monday morning to measure fitness before the afternoon on-ice session that included all the players.

The camp continues with the group split into two for the two practices today. The players have also met with a sports nutritionist, psychologist and the team's strength coach.

"Teams take different approaches to doing this," said Roy. "This is my first year doing one. I've researched this quite a bit... it's the middle of July and it's not the time for the players to come in and be dropping the gloves at centre ice. To me, that's not the purpose of a development camp.

"There's three components to it: For us to learn a little bit about them, for them to learn about us and an opportunity for us to teach them the things we think are important in the game and outside of the game. It's also about getting them into camp, getting them into Winnipeg and getting them to feel comfortable about the Winnipeg Jets and what it's going to feel like when you come into a main camp."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 10, 2012 C2

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