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Once the 2018-19 season concluded, each Barracuda player returned back to his hometown or offseason hangout. Moving forward, each week, sjbarracuda.com will check in with a different Barracuda player and see what he is up to this summer. This week we catch up with Evan Weinger.
Since the season came to its conclusion, what have you been up to? I probably spent a good two or three weeks just winding down, not doing too much. I went up to Portland and I’ve been golfing but that’s pretty much it. Now I’m back into training so that’s all I’ve been doing.
You played a majority of your junior hockey career in Portland (Oregon), is that a place you enjoy going back to? Yeah, it’s always nice to go there and visit. One of my old teammates lives up there with his girlfriend and that’s where my girlfriend is from so we hang out with them. It’s nice to be in nature. There’s a lot of hiking trails too which is fun.
Being a Southern California guy, do you appreciate going up there even more since there's not as much foliage in So Cal? It’s nice to visit until my allergies catch up to me (laughs). I can’t really breath up there but I like going up there, it’s relaxing and it gets me out of the city.
You recently finished development camp although it ended prematurely due to a minor injury, and you signed a one-year deal just prior to that. So, how was it going into a development camp this year with a higher comfort level? It was nice to know where I was going to play and knowing I’d be back here in San Jose. But, getting injured the second day wasn’t really ideal. I wanted to go in there and prove how hard I’ve been working. I wanted to impress all the Barracuda coaches but I also wanted to make an impression on the Sharks.
How did you feel like your first season with the Barracuda went? It was a little different. I obviously didn’t start the season in the lineup, I sat out the first couple of games. But once I got in, I made an impression and I was able to stick in the lineup. It’s a lot different than playing junior hockey. Guys are bigger, stronger, faster, heavier, smarter, so there’s a lot to think about and the little details make a huge difference. The coaches did a really good job helping me round out my game to become a more complete player.
Looking ahead, what is the biggest part of your game you want to improve? (Laughs) Scoring more goals. I get a ton of chances each game so I want to execute more and contribute more. Once I work on that I’m going to become a much better player.
When you first came to San Jose, the scouts talked about your speed. I’m sure you knew you were fast but once you were able to measure your speed against other pros, did you realize quickly from a speed standpoint that you belonged? Yeah, I knew speed was my best weapon but I’ve got to use it the right way. Get in on the forecheck, backcheck and use it more on PK. But the most important thing is I’ve got to score on my chances to become the player I want to be.
What are your plans for the next couple weeks now the development camp is over? I was already back in the gym once I got home. Since I got hurt at camp I wasn’t able to do much. I’m just going to focus on getting healthy and stronger. I probably won’t skate until the end of July but I'll be in the gym almost everyday. So, pretty simple, I’ll work out and golf when I can.
Living in Southern California, is it hard to find other pro players to train with during the offseason? Honestly, it’s hard to find a group to skate with down here. There’s just not a lot going on. I do train with a good group of hockey guys but they’re well-seasoned veteran NHL guys so it’s hard to get skates in with them. We do have some junior and college guys come back so I’ll get on the ice with them but it’s tough.
What is something that Evan likes to do when he’s not training or skating in the offseason? Obviously, I love going to the beach. But the weather hasn’t been great down here. It’s been pretty cloudy but hopefully, it will turn around soon. Also, I like to golf. It’s something that I really got into last season.
When are you planning on returning to San Jose for training camp? I’ll probably try and move back in September. My girlfriend and I have got to start looking for a place but probably early September, late August.