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Top Minnesotans Cap Development Season at Model Camp

By Minnesota Hockey, 07/26/16, 8:00AM CDT

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Each spring the top 15-18 year old boys and girls in Minnesota compete with and against the best players at their age in the CCM High Performance programs. The players participate in a series of training programs and festivals with the goal of developing their skills and having the opportunity to advance to the next stage of the evaluation process.

Eventually, the best players at the 15-17 age levels from Minnesota are selected to play in USA Hockey’s Player Development Camps against the top players from across the country.

To cap off their spring and summer development, the top players in Minnesota are invited to participate in the CCM High Performance Model Camp, which is taking place this week. Model Camp brings together the best players from the across the 15-18 age levels for one week at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, MN, forcing players to elevate their game to an even higher level.

“The talent level at camp is the highest it’s ever been,” said Model Camp Director, Grant Potulny. “We have 115-120 of the top kids in the whole state of Minnesota, and you’re talking about the greatest talent producing state in the whole country. That’s something that everybody – hockey fan, NHL scout, coach – can appreciate.”

Model Camp provides the players with a mix of practices, games and off-ice sessions that emphasize long term development. They have the opportunity to learn about the academic requirements and the development benefits of college hockey, what it takes mentally to be an elite player and participate in video sessions with college coaches explaining the finer details of the game and the terminology used at the next level. Players are also exposed to official testing of heights and weights with NHL Central Scouting.

On the ice, coaches introduce the players to a number of nuances in the game, ranging from the reasons for certain offensive tactics to position specific skills to strategies for maximizing efficiency on special teams.

“Every practice has a theme,” said Potulny. “The fun thing and the rewarding thing for us as coaches is you see them implement that in the games later that day or throughout the week.”

“Whether it’s mid-lane drive, sharing the puck or occupying people’s space, they’ve taken all those things you’ve talked about and implemented it into their game. They’ve been reinforced through practice, through games and through video.”

Part of the reason the players pick up on the concepts so quickly during Model Camp is the quality of coaching they receive. The camp features a wide berth of coaches with different backgrounds and areas of expertise.

This year the theme for the coaches seems to be international experience as both Potulny (Minnesota/U.S. National Junior) and Cory Laylin (Hamline/U.S. Select 17) will be coaches on a U.S. team in international competition this year. Other prominent Model Camp coaches with experience representing Team USA include Mike Guentzel (Minnesota), Brett Larson (Minnesota Duluth) and Mark Strobel (Ohio State).

“There’s many different things we like to expose the kids to here, and I think face time with college coaches is a big one,” said Potulny. “Not only is there going to be the guys coaching you, but there’s going to be a number of other coaches scouting the tournament, evaluating the camp.”

Model Camp provides a unique situation for the players and coaches where they actually get to interact, rather than coaches simply watching from the stands. With the NCAA’s recruiting rules, the opportunity to communicate face-to-face and have more intimate conversations in an accepted environment is invaluable for both sides as they seek to find the best fit for their future.

“We’re the greatest state at producing college players and I would like to see that number continue to increase,” said Potulny. “If this is another opportunity for our players to showcase themselves and maybe stand out over a player from a different region or a different country, I think it’s a great opportunity.”

One of the other benefits of Model Camp, as with all the CCM High Performance programs, is it enables these players to have a high level experience and be exposed to coaches and scouts without leaving home. Many of the participants spent the weekend before camp representing their high school team at summer festivals, and after camp finishes, they will head home to the program and buddies they’ve been playing for since they were seven or eight years old.

“We’re so fortunate here with the way our youth programs are set up, the way high school hockey is set up,” concluded Potulny. “Bringing the top guys together, working with them, competing together with them, and then, having them bring it back to their own program is something that I hope every player here can do.”

For more details on the 2016 CCM HP Model Camp, follow these links for a camp schedule and team rosters

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Each spring the top 15-18 year old boys and girls in Minnesota compete with and against the best players at their age in the CCM High Performance programs. The players participate in a series of training programs and festivals with the goal of developing their skills and having the opportunity to advance to the next stage of the evaluation process.

Eventually, the best players at the 15-17 age levels from Minnesota are selected to play in USA Hockey’s Player Development Camps against the top players from across the country.

To cap off their spring and summer development, the top players in Minnesota are invited to participate in the CCM High Performance Model Camp, which is taking place this week. Model Camp brings together the best players from the across the 15-18 age levels for one week at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, MN, forcing players to elevate their game to an even higher level.

“The talent level at camp is the highest it’s ever been,” said Model Camp Director, Grant Potulny. “We have 115-120 of the top kids in the whole state of Minnesota, and you’re talking about the greatest talent producing state in the whole country. That’s something that everybody – hockey fan, NHL scout, coach – can appreciate.”

Model Camp provides the players with a mix of practices, games and off-ice sessions that emphasize long term development. They have the opportunity to learn about the academic requirements and the development benefits of college hockey, what it takes mentally to be an elite player and participate in video sessions with college coaches explaining the finer details of the game and the terminology used at the next level. Players are also exposed to official testing of heights and weights with NHL Central Scouting.

On the ice, coaches introduce the players to a number of nuances in the game, ranging from the reasons for certain offensive tactics to position specific skills to strategies for maximizing efficiency on special teams.

“Every practice has a theme,” said Potulny. “The fun thing and the rewarding thing for us as coaches is you see them implement that in the games later that day or throughout the week.”

“Whether it’s mid-lane drive, sharing the puck or occupying people’s space, they’ve taken all those things you’ve talked about and implemented it into their game. They’ve been reinforced through practice, through games and through video.”

Part of the reason the players pick up on the concepts so quickly during Model Camp is the quality of coaching they receive. The camp features a wide berth of coaches with different backgrounds and areas of expertise.

This year the theme for the coaches seems to be international experience as both Potulny (Minnesota/U.S. National Junior) and Cory Laylin (Hamline/U.S. Select 17) will be coaches on a U.S. team in international competition this year. Other prominent Model Camp coaches with experience representing Team USA include Mike Guentzel (Minnesota), Brett Larson (Minnesota Duluth) and Mark Strobel (Ohio State).

“There’s many different things we like to expose the kids to here, and I think face time with college coaches is a big one,” said Potulny. “Not only is there going to be the guys coaching you, but there’s going to be a number of other coaches scouting the tournament, evaluating the camp.”

Model Camp provides a unique situation for the players and coaches where they actually get to interact, rather than coaches simply watching from the stands. With the NCAA’s recruiting rules, the opportunity to communicate face-to-face and have more intimate conversations in an accepted environment is invaluable for both sides as they seek to find the best fit for their future.

“We’re the greatest state at producing college players and I would like to see that number continue to increase,” said Potulny. “If this is another opportunity for our players to showcase themselves and maybe stand out over a player from a different region or a different country, I think it’s a great opportunity.”

One of the other benefits of Model Camp, as with all the CCM High Performance programs, is it enables these players to have a high level experience and be exposed to coaches and scouts without leaving home. Many of the participants spent the weekend before camp representing their high school team at summer festivals, and after camp finishes, they will head home to the program and buddies they’ve been playing for since they were seven or eight years old.

“We’re so fortunate here with the way our youth programs are set up, the way high school hockey is set up,” concluded Potulny. “Bringing the top guys together, working with them, competing together with them, and then, having them bring it back to their own program is something that I hope every player here can do.”

For more details on the 2016 CCM HP Model Camp, follow these links for a camp schedule and team rosters

Most Popular