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Undersized Players

I have gotten so many emails about the “undersized” player. Most recently this morning from a camper’s dad named Jim as you can read below. I have so much to say on this topic and decided to spend the afternoon thinking, and writing about it. If you look at any NHL team’s roster, there will be a plethora of players above six feet but notice there will be one or more 5’7, 5’8, 5’9, 5’10 sized players in the mix as well. Every mix that is. High level prep hockey, Junior Hockey, Division One College Hockey as well as the National Hockey League.

Hello Jeff

Hope your Holiday season is going well…

Just wanted to know if you ever written an article for kids who go through a lot of adversity especially for their stature..
My child is small in stature but has a lot of talent and is a top player on his team.
I hear a lot through the grapevine that he will never play Elite hockey because he is so small … I hear this very often!!

It is very frustrating to hear that and just want my son to enjoy the sport and excel..
Why do they allow small kids play hockey if it is only for the big boys!!

I am looking very forward to the camp so Billy can gain confidence in himself and be a better player … prove everyone wrong!!

Your thoughts would be appreciated

All the best for 2014!!!

Regards
Jim

Calgary Flames GM says, “There is plenty of room for small players in our game. All these teams that are competitive have small players.” He may be inferencing the Flames draft pick, the super slick and skilled Boston College stand out, Johnny Gaudreau. After meeting him last week when he visited a practice at the prep school I assist in coaching, I can say that his BC stats at 5’8, 160 are generous. His nasty skill and speed is awe striking. Yes with most certainty there is plenty of room for what I like to call the “undersized and overhearted.” Some of the best players are under six feet. Do they have to be quick? And nasty and super skilled to stand out? Yes I think so. They have to do more to get noticed, I believe. Do they have a lot of heart? Yes I believe they are what I call “overhearted.”

Enter Boston Bruins Boy Wonder, Torey Krug. Krug was called up from the Bruins AHL affiliate in Providence in the hunt for the Stanley Cup last spring. At 5’9 and generously listed at 180 lbs., Krug has rung in for 2013-2014: 15 games, 6 goals, three assists and plus 4. The poised rookie was and continues to be the talk of town. He won the hearts of the Boston fans with his powerful precise shots on net and speedy defensive surges in his defensive zone. Krug is a great addition to the Bruins power play and his lack of size has not proven to be an issue against larger forwards because he has a good solid frame proving his strength when delivering and receiving hits when necessary.

Boston Bruins Brad Marchand. GM Peter Ciarelli is quoted saying a few weeks ago after Marchand taunted an opponent by kissing his Stanley Cup Ring on the ice. “Let me be clear on Marchy. I’m not trading Marchy, he’s a good player and I like the way he plays. ” Marchand is the ultimate battler. My signature battle camp is about being a Brad Marchand. He is not afraid to go into the corners and get his nose dirty when battling for the puck. He is the ultimate agitator. A buzzing bee all over the ice. Quickness and speed and his “overheart” has more than compensated for his “undersize” in my book. One of my favorite players.

Some of my favorite campers, prep, college and NHL players are the undersized and overhearted. So the answer to your question -Jim the Dad- who wrote to me above. Hell yes there is plenty of room for the undersized hockey player in elite hockey! Looking forward to meeting Billy this summer and I promise he will get the Pro Ambitions summer hockey growth spurt. I can promise growth in skill and heart which will compensate for growth in size.

Copyright 2014 Jeff Serowik. All rights reserved.