SPECIALIZED DRILLS REFINE PATS’ SKILLS
CREDIT: ROB VANSTONE, THE LEADER-POST FEBRUARY 18, 2015
Skills coach Joe Quinn works with the Regina Pats players during practice in Regina on Tuesday.
Under head coach John Paddock, the 2014-15 Regina Pats routinely accentuate skill development during practice.
But there was a new twist at Tuesday’s session.
Joe Quinn, who developed the Power Edge Pro training system, put the WHL team’s players through his program during an extended workout at the Brandt Centre.
Quinn’s program incorporates on-ice implements that simulate opponents’ sticks and create passing lanes.
The regimen was new to everyone except 16-yearold Pats centre Sam Steel, who has been working with Quinn for six years.
Quinn’s clientele also includes Erie Otters star Connor McDavid, who is expected to be the first overall selection in the 2015 NHL draft.
Steel, who had not participated in the specialized drills since the summer, acknowledged that he was “rusty.” “Those guys have never done it, so I can feel where they’re coming from,” Steel said of his teammates. “It was great to get (Quinn) out here. It’s a great program with great drills and it was a lot of fun.” The Pats have a working arrangement with Power Edge Pro that covers the remainder of this season and all of the 2015-16 campaign.
Quinn will return to Regina from Ridgeway, Ont., on a periodic basis over that time. However, his program can be accessed throughout the season due to apps that are available to players and coaches.
“I think this equipment is excellent to improve skills,” Paddock said. “We don’t have to be shown something to know where our players are, but it’s going to be very nice to have different tools to work on things, especially early next season where we can work on some things that are deficiencies.” The program is designed to improve skating and stickhandling, especially in situations where there is a lack of time and/or space.
“It really gives the players different looks, like a game where you’ve got seams and a defenceman’s stick in different lanes,” Quinn said. “When you combine the multi-tasking that they have to do with their skating skills and their hands, it’s a total workout.
“With today’s game, it’s all reactionary. Two-thirds of the game is in one zone. It’s all about training in traffic with that reactionary component. That’s what puts pressure on them out there, and it transfers to the game.” Unlike a game situation, all the players were on the ice at once on Tuesday.
There was very little standing around as players worked on different skills at various points on the ice.
“With the endurance, I can tell you that every one of those guys is beat, but they’re excited because it’s challenging and it’s creative for them,” Quinn said.
“It’s not the regular up and down the ice with no resistance. The coaches are getting what they need out of them and the players are getting what they need out of it.” That certainly applies to Steel, who is already touted as a top prospect for the 2016 NHL draft. How much has the program enhanced his game?
“Big-time,” Steel responded. “It’s not easy, so you’re always working on it, trying to get a little bit better. It just builds up from there. It’s really game-like, using your edges and putting the puck in different places. It has helped my development a lot.” EXTRAS: A Pats road game against the Prince Albert Raiders has been rescheduled for March 10. The game, originally scheduled for this past Saturday, was postponed due to inclement weather … The Pats are to return to action Friday, 7 p.m., against the visiting Saskatoon Blades. Paddock is hopeful that centre Adam Brooks, 18, will be able to return to the lineup after missing eight games with an undisclosed injury. Brooks has 20 goals and 23 assists in 48 games this season … Left-winger Taylor Cooper, who has sat out four games with an undisclosed injury, returned to the ice Tuesday. Paddock wasn’t sure of Cooper’s status for Friday. Cooper, who was acquired from the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Jan. 6, has nine goals and six assists in 13 games with the Pats.
Photograph by: Bryan Schlosser , Regina Leader-Post