Aug 7, 2018

Once the 2017-18 season concluded, each Barracuda player returned to his hometown or offseason hangout. Moving forward, each week will check in with a different Barracuda player and see what he is up to this summer. This week we catch up with defenseman Jake Middleton.

Where do you spend your offseason?

This offseason is the first I’ve spent away from home. I moved to Kingston, Ontario, which is right on Lake Ontario. It's a good little spot.

You signed your entry-level deal last offseason after a great rookie campaign, was that a goal of yours this summer to move out and become a little bit more independent?

Yeah, you could say that. You saw my brother at development camp (Keaton Middleton: 6-foot-five, 235 pounds) so in our household along with my dad, things get a little crowded when we’re all in there. So yeah, the new contract helped with moving off in the summer and starting things fresh.

What’s the best thing about being back in Ontario?

Just friends! We’re gone so much during the season especially since we’re on the West Coast, so you don’t get to see many of your friends or family, so when you get back home, and you’re in the same time zone it makes it a lot easier to catch up with everyone you grew up with. That’s the best part about it.

What’s a day in the life of Jake Middleton in the offseason?

I usually wake up and make myself some avocado and eggs, I’ll hit the gym from 10-12 in the morning and then depending on the day it’s usually some afternoon recovery with stick handling and shooting on a tennis court that’s down the street from my house because there’s not much ice during the first couple months of summer. That’s a day in the life and then I call the corner of my couch my office for the evening.

What do you like to do in the summers when you’re not training?

Golfing, absolutely! I was a big golfer when I was younger, but I kind of took a break during junior because I was working. So now that I’m not working in the summers, I can get out on the links a lot more, and I’ve really enjoyed that.

The team has a golf course in San Jose that everyone can play for free, have you been trying to sharpen your game at home so when you return you can have bragging rights on the boys?

Absolutely! There’s a bit of a rivalry going on. We’ve got some really good golfers on the Barracuda, so as much practice as you can get in the offseason is huge. You can make a statement during those first few games when you get back (laughs).

Who’s your biggest competition on the team?

Biggest competition… Brodz, Michael Brodzinski hits the ball really well. Another really good golfer is JMac (John McCarthy), he does really well on the course as well.

What has your training regime been like this offseason?

At the start of summer, it was a lot of strength work because I lost some pounds near the end of the season. The first month was all about strength building, and then I moved to more speed training (laughs). The game is getting faster and faster, so I’ve been doing a lot of running and jumping.

What are your goals going into your third year of pro?

The end goal is obviously to make a push and steal somebodies job on the big club. Sometimes that’s out of your own control but that is the goal, and it’s the goal for pretty much everyone. But no matter if I’m with the Sharks or Barracuda I want to progress as much as I have been and to keep that moving forward throughout my career.

As you look back on last year, what was your fondest memory?

We had a rookie party at top golf in Austin, Texas. That was a great day. It was toward the end of the season, and I think it helped a lot with the camaraderie going into that playoff push we made.

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