AMERICANS PLAYERS MAKE THE MOST OF THEIR OPPORTUNITY AT SAN JOSE SHARKS CAMP
September 18th, 2017 by Tommy Daniels
Story by Tommy Daniels
Photo – San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks opened training camp last week in California and several players who wore the red Allen sweater got an opportunity with the NHL club, including two key pieces from last year’s squad; defenseman David Makowski and forward Bryan Moore.
Makowski was one of the top defenseman in the ECHL over the last couple of seasons, putting up 38 points in 54 games two years ago and 50 points last year in just 34 games. The St. Louis, Missouri, native is a gifted offensive talent with a lethal shot from the point. Over the last two years, he’s anchored Allen’s power play, putting up 32 points last year and 15 the year before. However, having said all that and knowing that he has the game to play at any level offensively, at the top level in a hockey you need a solid all-around game to stick, which Makowski has. He’s a gritty blue-liner who’s not afraid to mix things up in the corner or drop the gloves, if needed. Backing that up with 196 total penalty minutes over the last two seasons, which leads all Allen defensemen.
Makowski was joined in Sharks camp by forward Bryan Moore, who is one of the top skilled players in the ECHL and a player who has a great opportunity to stick at a higher level because of that aforementioned talent and his ability to play at both ends of the ice. Moore was one of the Americans’ top defensive forwards last year, in addition to being a top-3 forward. He scored 24 goals while adding 51 points in just 44 games last season for the Americans. The resident of Indian Trail, North Carolina was one of Allen’s key components on the power play last year.
Both players were assigned to the San Jose Barracuda today and will be in camp with the team this weekend. Both players answered questions about his experience at Sharks camp, and how it has helped his game:
Describe the experience of an NHL camp.
DM – It’s been an awesome experience being here in San Jose. Everyone in this organization is extremely professional and the amount of work that is done in preparation of camp, and on a day to day basis, is unbelievable. I mean, within two minutes of landing in San Jose, one of our drivers, Kevin, called me asking how my flight was and letting me know when and where to meet him. That’s pretty cool. The culture here makes it really fun to come to the rink every morning, ready to work and that’s what I noticed immediately. From management, coaches, staff and especially the veteran Sharks players, it really shows why this organization has been so successful for so long.
Was it easier being at NHL camp because Michael Brodzinski was your defense partner?
DM – Brodz (Brodzinski) it certainly made it more comfortable for both of us, knowing the type of players we are and having that connection from playing together last year. It was also nice to be here with Moorsey (Moore) and catching up with some of the other guys, like Schoenborn and Martin on how their summers were.
How will you use that opportunity to grow as a player?
DM – To continue to work hard and get better every day.
Now that you are headed t0 Barracuda camp, what type of things did the coaches ask you to work on?
DM – The coaches here have been working with the D on several things that they really want us focusing on this year. Things like boxing out forwards in front of the net, jumping up in the attack, and getting our shots through from the point quickly are a few things that have had particular emphasis. Personally, I’d like to continue to improve all areas of my game, and skating is something you can never get too good at. I’ve been talking with skating coach Luke Chilcott quite a bit, and am looking forward to working with him when he comes here in a few days. He’s the best skating coach I’ve ever worked with.
How was it playing on the ice with veteran NHL players like Joe Thornton and Brent Burns?
DM – It’s really was a lot of fun playing on the ice with those guys. They are some of the best players in the world, and their work habits are second to none.
What was the biggest challenge for you?
DM – By far, it’s been living away from my fiancée and three and half year old dog, Ruger. Going to the rink has been fun every day, but not being with them after I get back from the rink has been challenging. They’re excited for my opportunity here, but I miss my best friends.
Were you nervous the first time you stepped on the ice?
DM – I’m actually feeling very confident right now. I lived in Dallas this past summer with my fiancée and was able to skate and workout with Brad Jellis and some Dallas Stars players, and I’ve put a lot of work into having a strong training camp and start to the season. I’m in the best shape of my life and feel great on the ice.
What advice did the NHL players give you to help your game?
DM – All the NHL players were very friendly and willing to answer any questions. I’ve always enjoyed watching Brent Burns and Marc Edouard Vlasic, and they’re two guys who introduced themselves to me right away. They’re really good guys, and being able to talk to them and watch how they practice on and off the ice was great. They’re two guys who don’t just play the game for a living, they love the game and work extremely hard.
How different was the speed of the game at the NHL level?
DM – The speed of the game is fast, and you have to be able to “think the game” quickly and make decisions right away. I like to think of myself as a player who plays an up-tempo style that can play quick so I think it’ll be something that I’ll be able to get adjusted to quickly.
What would it mean to you to stick around with the club for a while?
DM – Every day I’m learning and getting better. I’d love to get another opportunity with the big club at some point but for now I’m excited to join the Barracuda. After being in San Jose for almost two weeks, it’s clear this organization has the best coaches at all levels. They’re all so knowledgeable and are winners.
How did their training facility compare to Allen?
DM – The training facilities here in San Jose are top notch. As you can imagine, they have everything here available to us to help us do our jobs. The main difference between the facilities here and in Allen, is that there is a full weight room located right above the locker room. But in Allen, we have access to Craig Ranch Fitness, and that place has everything you could ask for in terms of off- ice weight training!
Did you get a chance to talk to Aaron Dell about his time in Allen?
DM – Yes I did. He has an Americans logo tattoo from the championship he won with Allen a few years ago. It was an easy opener for me, as we had quite a bit in common. He’s a tremendous goalie, and an awesome guy. It was fun to catch up with him, as he’s a North Dakota guy, so we talked about that also since we played against each other in some big games when I was at Denver.
How will this experience help you as a pro?
DM – Anytime you’re given an opportunity to be in an NHL camp and learn from NHL coaches and players, it’s a special experience to learn and grow as a player. They’re the best in the world for a reason, so I’m fortunate for the opportunity I had to watch and learn from them and pick up on some things that I can incorporate into my game.
What was the one noticeable difference about an NHL Camp compared to minor league level?
BM – One thing that is noticeably different at NHL camps for me would be the speed. The practice are a much higher tempo and fast pace. I also have notice the size difference. The guys here are much bigger and stronger. The work ethic from each player is out the roof as well. Each guy competes every day.
How do you feel you handled yourself on the ice against some of the NHL’s best?
BM -I feel like I came into camp in great shape. I had a great summer to get prepared for this. It was a long summer of training that is hopefully paying off. All that being said I think it has helped me on the ice. You have to come into camp strong against these players. They have been working just as hard as you if not harder. I think my training program really helped me be prepared to play against some of the NHL’s best. It’s awesome to be out there and learn from those guys.
What would mean to you to earn a position in San Jose this season (Barracuda)?
BM -It would mean a lot to be on the Barracuda. I have worked so hard this summer to take that next step in my career. I would love to be in San Jose and develop and hopefully get opportunities to move up.
What feedback did you receive from the coaching staff about your game?
BM – They liked how I came into camp in shape and did very well in all the testing. They really like my speed and my shot. I have been told my work ethic will reward me if I keep doing the little things.
Did you feel more comfortable having Allen teammates in camp with you?
BM – Going into camp not knowing anyone is tough. When you have guys you know or have played with it makes things easier. I was lucky enough to know a lot of players and staff here, since I had the opportunity to play with the Barracuda last year. Camp has been going really smooth so far. I’m excited to see what happens and get things started.
The Americans open training camp on Monday, October 2nd at Allen Event Center with all sessions open to the public. Details on times coming soon.