Winnipeg Jets’ Hellebuyck, Brossoit make big strides in off-season Okanagan training camp
He’s one of the best goalies in the National Hockey League.
The Winnipeg Jets‘ Connor Hellebuyck had a breakthrough season last year, which ended with a Vezina trophy nomination and a new six-year, $37 million contract.
Ahead of the 2017/18 season, Hellebuyck made some big changes in both his representation and his off-season training regimen.
Hellebuyck signed on with NHLPA agent, and Steinbach native, Ray Petkau and his team at Alpha Hockey Inc.
“I have the right agent, the right organization, the right trainer, and the right goalie coaches to help me succeed,” Hellebuyck said. “Anytime something falters we know exactly what to fall back on.”
Petkau, through his two companies, Alpha Management Group (Alpha Hockey Inc.) and NET360, offers expert development training for some of the NHL’s elite goaltenders. They offer intense training and programming in Kelowna, B.C. during the off-season.
“We just provide the extra services that very few other agencies do,” Petkau said. “We focus a lot on player development in the off-season in particular.”
Connor Hellebuyck and newly signed Winnipeg Jet Laurent Brossoit both take part in Petkau’s NET360’s training camp in the Okanagan. Both have said it has helped to change their game for the better.
“It’s a place you go to get away and really focus on making yourself better,” Hellebuyck said. “You have guys all around you that push you and really want the exact same thing you want. You want to get better at every single detail and every one percent matters.”
Brossoit has been a part of Petkau’s training camp for the past three or four years.
“A bunch of us goalies, majority in the NHL, who get together with a bunch of NHL quality coaches,” Brossoit said. “It’s one of those camps I’ve been looking for for a long time that’s goalie specific and does a lot of innovative stuff.”
While Petkau said the program relies on having the right trainers, coaches and team members, on occasion he also likes to get on the ice and have some fun with the players.
“I spent time shooting on Connor Hellebuyck and Laurent Brossoit this year,” Petkau said. “My shooting percentage wasn’t very good. They were doing some movement drills and they needed someone to put pucks on net and that was me. I had a blast. They bug me about a couple of goals where I got pretty excited because I saw an empty net.”
There is no shortage of laughs, and sometimes that comes at Petkau’s expense.
“I’m going to clarify this,” Hellebuyck said while laughing after being asked about if his agent scored while he was in goal. “It wasn’t on me. It was on Brossoit and it was back door. (The) drill is kinda over and you just saw his eyes light up… he comes skating in and just roofs one.”
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