Summer update: new team, new opportunities both on and off the ice!

It’s amazing how quickly the off-season goes by. It felt like it was just yesterday that the playoffs were over and we were looking forward to some time away from the rink.

Now, pills we are less than a week away from the start of the PRO Goaltending Development Camp. Here, some of the top prospects from Canada, the United States and Europe will join our staff at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) campus for two weeks in preparation for their upcoming season.

While summer came at us fast, let’s be honest: we are ready for the season to begin.

But, before it does, now is a good time to look back on a few items that have taken place off the ice.

From the Senators to the Canadians

During the 2011-12 season, I was the goaltending coach with the Ottawa Junior “A” Senators in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL). I was responsible for working with the goaltenders in the organization’s system during practices, off the ice with video analysis and providing the coaching staff with scouting reports on the opposition. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot from everyone that was part of the Junior Senators. Once the season ended, I learned that there may be some opportunities available in the league and decided to explore these options in order to continue developing my skills as a coach. I could not have asked for a better team to begin my coaching career in the league with. I met some incredible people and extremely dedicated volunteers. To each and every one, I extend my most humble and sincere thank you.

I learned that the Carleton Place Canadians were looking for a goaltending coach and I was able to interview for the position. It took a couple of weeks, but I was extremely happy to receive the phone call from owner and head coach, Jason Clarke, letting me know that I would be a part of the team for the 2012-13 season. Carleton Place is a great hockey town and the fans are passionate about their local Junior team.

I’m looking forward to being part of the winning tradition: One Team, One Town, One Goal.

Summer training sessions in Ottawa

We kicked off the month of July with our first weekly training session in Ottawa at Minto Arena. These sessions will be held once a week until the end of August, providing students small group sizes and plenty of opportunity to refine certain technical parts of their game. This is not your typical goalie camp – the class sizes are small and students work closely with instructors on the ice and off the ice with video analysis to help their game reach the next level. As goalies start thinking about try-outs, it’s important for them to receive attention early in the summer to make sure they are carrying over good habits from last season and working out the bad. Our sessions in Ottawa are designed to do just that!

Also, our friends at Lacroix Sports Ottawa helped us order in new jerseys to give students who are training with us this summer. Lacroix Sports Ottawa is a family owned and operated sporting goods store that has provided quality customer service and the latest sports equipment for over 20 years. If you’re a goalie or parent, please be sure to check them out for all of your goalie needs. They also carry a wide variety of hockey, ringette, baseball, lacrosse and football equipment!

Writing

PRO Goaltending has taken tremendous strides within the past year expanding its network of contacts through social media. We have connected with many people in the hockey community, including media, scouts, coaches and goalie coaches, and have engaged in insightful conversations about, well, you guessed it: goalies! We are excited to be regular contributors to the most popular goalie magazine in the world, InGoal Magazine. This year, we will contribute tips and drills not only for goalies, but for coaches, goalie coaches and parents, too.

Two articles were recently published in the July Edition of InGoal Magazine: a summary of all of the goalies selected at the National Hockey League Entry Draft (pg. 28) and a profile on one of the most highly touted prospects playing in Europe, Frederik Andersen (pg. 34). Please feel free to share your comments and feedback!

Adding to the Guild

Another addition to our network is Justin Goldman, founder of The Goalie Guild. Justin is known for his creative and unique understanding of the goaltending position, and as an independent goalie scout, he is one of the most accurate and detailed in the business. If you’re on Twitter, follow him @TheGoalieGuild for in game analysis during the season and for news topics related to goaltending (check out the Pads Tracker on the website, too! It’s a really cool feature that keeps track of the gear that your favourite NHL goalie wears during the season). We are looking forward to working with Justin as he continues to build the Guild and continues educating hockey fans about the best position in the game!

Don’t forget to check back in to the blog in a couple of weeks when we update with content and photos from Development Camp!

-Eli Rassi.

About PRO Goaltending

Owner and head instructor, Michael Lawrence, has been training North American and European goaltenders since 2001. Clients include several junior, major junior, collegiate and professional goaltenders.
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