Week 2 Themes for the EDP Summer Skills Series

Week 2 of the Elite Development Program Summer 2022 Skills Series is here!

On Tuesday, the U14 and High School/U20 groups will hit the ice with the theme being “Upper and Lower Body Separation.” One of the biggest characteristics that separates elite players from the rest is the ability to separate their upper and lower body. It's not readily obvious to the casual observer but once you've seen it… you can't unsee it.

The U10s and U12s will continue with their skating placement for high performance emphasis with a similar focus on the “Impact of Puck Placement on Skating Development.”

Players should watch the following video before hitting the ice for their Skill Series sessions this week:

Watching the video will give players a better “why” for the reason for the drill progressions.

Too many drills are run without focusing on the specifics of the skill or the “why,” and without encouraging the players to go outside their comfort zone. But the natural comfort zone for most players tends to be staying inside their skate base and shoulders: they feel more stable and natural there. But that's a problem. When combined with well meaning but counter-productive encouragement to “point your toes in the direction of the shot” and “keep the puck in front of you” and a lack of understanding the problems with this, the result is creating predictable and easily defensible players whose development stalls out long before it should. 

It is so important to incorporate and understand where the puck should be relative to the body. When you go a step further, the very best players have the ability to posses the puck in spots that are counterintuitive to quality movement, but it doesn't compromise the integrity of their body.  

That’s one of the separating factors between a Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, and Matt Barzal – all of whom are coached by Daryl Belfry – and the next tier down. The former can have the puck anywhere in their radius without it impacting the quality of their movement.

This week's skills series will teach the players, with different emphasis based on their ages, the hows and whys of the utility of separating their upper body from their lower body and the importance of puck placement in skating development. The intent is to use the time to take the players down the lane to mastering an unnoticed skill that is useful in many situations, the mastery of which will greatly increase their effectiveness and impact as players!

Our goalies will continue the “Strelow Series” of skating movements with Coach Travers and Coach Josh, including an introduction to the “Finnish Shuffle.”


Group Date Time Rink
U10 Thursday, 6/16 5:50-6:50 p.m. Chiller North
U12 Thursday, 6/16 7-8 p.m. Chiller North
U14 Tuesday, 6/14 5:50-6:50 p.m. Chiller North
High School/Alum Tuesday, 6/14 7-8 p.m. Chiller North