As the November 15th training camps start getting closer, many of our players, coaches and staff have been working hard preparing for the upcoming season beginning December 1st. Joey Hishon, former Attack star and now Assistant Coach and GM has been keeping the players busy with his skills and performance enhancing camps.
Joey started his junior hockey career in 2007 with the Owen Sound Attack, eventually being drafted in the 1st round by Colorado in 2010 and winning the J. Ross Robertson Cup in 2011. He then began his pro career with the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL. Hishon made his NHL debut with the Colorado Avalanche in 2013 where he played for two seasons.. His North American career finished with the San Antonio Rampage in 2015-2016, then Hishon was flown over to Europe to play in the KHL and SHL for two seasons. His experience was topped off by the opportunity to work alongside coaches like Brian O’Reilly, where he took a lot of their coaching styles and skill building techniques and has integrated them into his own camp.
After he retired, he decided to create Hishon Skills Corp in 2018. A series of group, individual, and camp sessions where he would pass on his experiences and teach young hockey players to “Maximize Your Potential”. His sessions focus on puck protection and puck handling at high speeds. He wants his players to feel comfortable moving quickly on their edges and executing their own unique moves to perfection.
Typically hosted in Stratford, ON, this year’s camp started a bit later due to the global pandemic, but Hishon was able to get things up and running in Tavistock, ON. Hishon has made sure to follow all the Covid protocols set in place to help reduce the risk of contracting the virus. He has set up time limits for players to enter and leave the buildings, a max of 10-15 minutes to get dressed and undressed, they all must wear masks and use hand sanitizer before entering and leaving the building, as well as little to no contact drills and scrimmages.
After such a great turn out from last year’s camp, he decided to change things up with a pre-camp draft. Players from all over Ontario were drafted to a different colour team. This helped create a competitive atmosphere amongst players and kept the regular season game speed all summer long.
Hishon says: “It gives players a reason to play harder, helps give them a little edge when they are playing with each other.”
He saw players from both the OHL and NHL compete in his high intensity scrimmages and skill building drills, and many of them were looking very good.
Asked about which players have stood out, Hishon says: “I would say, Ethan Burroughs. Ethan Burroughs was out last week and he is obviously doing some very good work where he is in Halton Hills, his shot looks absolutely incredible.” He adds: “One of our draft picks has been out the last couple weeks, Gavin Bryant, he was our second-round pick and he’s been looking really solid as well, he’s got great speed and you can tell he really wants to be a really good hockey player, he will do whatever it takes to play the next level and be a good player.”
Hishon also mentioned that Mark Woolley, Andrew Perrott, Sergey Popov, Igor Chibrikov, Kaleb Pearson, Sam Sedley, Nick Chenard and Barret Kirwin have all been attending and working hard on and off the ice. There have been a lot of former Attack players and professionals coming out and supporting the boys as well; Nick Suzuki, Sean Durzi, Kurtis Gabriel, Brady Lyle, Zac Dalpe, Jeremy Welsh, Jacob Middleton and Brad McClure among others.
The camps main goal is for the players and coaches is to gain the best high-quality and high-speed experience they can: “What makes it unique is just how competitive the skates are. It’s hard to find skates that competitive in the summer. When I was playing and attending different skates, I got frustrated because of the lack of intensity. That’s something my skates always have. The games are super competitive.”
As Hishon looks forward to the upcoming season with enthusiasm and ambition, he would like to remind players: “The most important thing for young hockey players is too make sure that you’re having fun. You can go to different skills coaches and power skating coaches and do it that way, or you can play road hockey and have a lot of fun with your buddies. Whatever way you choose to do it, you gotta make sure you’re having the most fun possible. Especially when you’re younger, you gotta make sure you’re having fun with it.”
For more information on Hishon’s Skills Camps, go to https://www.hishonskillscorp.com/.