BOSTON (CBS) – In an effort to make sure his sophomore NHL season is the one that establishes him not just as a regular, but a star, Tyler Seguin has sought out every edge imaginable.
That search has turned up several ways for Seguin to get a leg up, including a better diet that will allow his body to develop into exactly what it should be – a speedy, goal-scoring machine.
For the second straight summer, Seguin attended the BioSteel camp with more than 30 of his Toronto-area NHL-caliber colleagues. The camp is run by trainer Matt Nichol and ex-NHL-star-turned-trainer Gary Roberts. While most of the focus on the camp relates to the off-ice training and on-ice workouts, including the high-tempo scrimmages, that help the likes of Seguin, Steven Stamkos, Michael Cammalleri, James Neal and Jeff Skinner improve their games every summer.
But there are also lessons in nutrition, which Seguin absorbed and now is trying to put into use in his life.
“It’s just about learning more about proper portions the night before a game stuff and day of [a game] and just really proper nutrition and how bad it can affect you if you’re not properly eating or hydrating yourself well. I took a lot from it this summer,” he told CBSBoston.com over the weekend.
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Seguin, 19, also attended a cooking class with similar themes back in July with the Bruins’ prospects and draft picks who were assembled for the team’s development camp. Living on one’s own can be a grind for a number of reasons, but Seguin’s making sure the nights spent eating microwaveable meals in a hurry are limited.
“It’s kind of what I want to get into. I’m young. It’s a good time to start learning stuff to cook,” he said.
The BioSteel camp diet stresses eating organic meats, fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed, packaged foods. Some of the things on the menu include sunflower seed sprouts and mung beans. While that doesn’t sound even a wee bit appetizing to a sportswriter, Seguin’s taste buds are as up to the task as he is to go out and score a game-winning shootout goal.
“It tastes fine. I’m used to it,” said Seguin.
The extra work and the adherence to a proper diet allowed Seguin to bring around an extra 10 pounds with him to camp compared to last season. While some guys bulk up and struggle to get used to their new body, Seguin says he’s had no such problem. His teammates might’ve gone through a shorter summer workout-wise because of the Bruins’ run to the Stanley Cup championship, but after playing a limited (but spectacular) role in that run Seguin says he skated a lot in an effort to make sure he could contribute more to whatever run the Bruins make this season.
“It was easier to just focus because I wasn’t coming into this year blind,” said Seguin, who scored a goal in the Bruins’ preseason finale Saturday night in Bridgeport, Conn. “I knew what to expect both mentally and physically, and had already seen so much by going all the way and having that experience under my belt. I was excited and wanted to get in good shape to have a good sophomore season.”
Head coach Claude Julien has often cited a desire to see Seguin battle more in the corners and along the walls, and the 2010 No. 2 overall draft picks says he’s taken that to heart. He’s been watching Patrice Bergeron a lot for ways to win battles without bowling players over.
“If you look at a guy like Bergy,” says Seguin, “how he’s strong on his stick and uses his body well. That’s what I want to get to and what I want to bring to my game.”
Bit part in the Bruins Cup run or not, Seguin was one of the team’s more high-profile partiers once the dust had settled on the triumph over Vancouver. His visibility figures to only increase as he continues to fulfill his potential as a star the club can build around starting with opening night Thursday against Philadelphia Thursday at TD Garden. He says he relishes the attention he’s garnered.
“You definitely know more about social media now after we won. … But it’s cool. Here in Boston, you get recognized 10 times more than before, even though it’s always been a hockey town, but now it’s really more. So it’s nice to see.”
Matt Kalman covers the Bruins for CBSBoston.com. He operates TheBruinsBlog.net and also contributes coverage to NHL.com and several other media outlets. Follow him on twitter @TheBruinsBlog.