The Athletic’s Max Bultman wrote a fine article regarding a professional hockey camp held by former Red Wings consultant (and current University of Michigan assistant coach) Brandon Narauto, who still works with Red Wings players through his Total Package Hockey company.
This story isn’t necessarily Wings-related any more, but it’s a very good read:
It’s just before 11:45 a.m. and skates have hit the ice at USA Hockey Arena, steel carving into the glossy, resurfaced sheet.
Outside, the August air smacks of vacation. The start of NHL training camps is still more than a month away, and the offseason carnival has largely passed, leaving hockey to temporarily fade from the public eye. The arena’s blue seats are all but empty. But on the ice, the work for next season has already begun.
The players gathered at the rink today are at widely different stages of their pro careers. Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski is among them, a star just entering his prime and fresh off signing a contract extension worth an average of more than $9.5 million a year. Rangers defenseman Zac Jones is also here — only a few months removed from an NCAA championship at UMass, with 10 late-season NHL games to his name and soon the chance to break through full time. Cooper Marody and Riley Barber, the AHL’s top two goal scorers last season with Bakersfield and Grand Rapids, respectively, are also here. So is newly minted Seattle Kraken Dennis Cholowski, Vancouver Canucks prospect Will Lockwood, Detroit prospect Carter Gylander and more.
Even the Red Wings’ practice goalie and emergency backup, Josh Block, is out here — because EBUGs need summer reps, too.
It might be the dog days of the offseason, but this is when players — through work few will ever see — can create the proverbial step forward. The next hour and a half will be a window into how those summer leaps are actually made.
Continued (paywall); the Power Edge Pro camp was at the Red Wings’ practice facility two weeks ago, and there are various professional hockey camps that travel the U.S. and Canada throughout the summer, so this is a very good explainer as to how the “pro camps” work.