Buffalo Sabres A to Z: Brawn
In order for young players to become better fit to handle professional hockey, they've got to get stronger. Best friends Jiri Kulich and Isak Rosén have done just that.
To get ready for the upcoming Buffalo Sabres season, I’ll be previewing most of those involved in the eventual successes and failures by going through the alphabet using a different word each time - a revolutionary theme if there ever was one.
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The lure of making it to and staying in the NHL drives every player to do what they have to in order to accomplish that goal. For younger players, there’s a learning period that’s accompanied by adjustments and growth and either players make it to the NHL and blossom from there or they spend days/weeks/months/years to reach that apex…or they don’t.
Looking back at last year’s Rochester Americans team that had all kinds of young high-end talent on the roster and the impact those players had, namely forwards Isak Rosén and Jiri Kulich, and what that year in the world’s second-highest professional hockey league meant for them as they head into training camp this year, perhaps the biggest thing was how much they needed to grow physically to better adjust.
With an entire season of games in the AHL followed by a deep playoff run that ended with a tough series loss to the eventual Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears, the education put forth from that experience let those players know exactly what they would need to become more impactful moving ahead: Strength.
Although their offseason was abbreviated because of the playoff run, Rosén and Kulich arrived in Buffalo for the Prospects Challenge bigger, more knowledgeable, and ready to shake things up when Buffalo Sabres training camp begins September 20. Kulich, in particular, looks stronger and built even more like a professional.
“As strong as he was for an 18-year-old last year, he looks outstanding,” Americans coach Seth Appert said this week. “Physically looks like he had a very explosive summer. So, good for him for not being overconfident about his year he had and putting in a lot of work. It’s very evident.”
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