The American Hockey League has announced that the 2019-20 AHL regular season will be paused for the safety of its players, employees, and fans in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 Jayden Halbgewachs.
Since the season came to its conclusion, what have you been up to and what’s ahead? Once the season came to an end, I took about a week and a half off. And then, I had a meeting with my trainer here in Regina to discuss the plan for my summer and what we needed to do off the ice. So, Monday through Friday I work out with my trainer at the gym for about two hours. Aside from that, I golf, and I have a lake. So, it’s nice to spend some time there and get some relaxation time. Also, just hanging out with friends and enjoying the summer as much as possible.
You’ve been posting on your Instagram about your lake activities. You seem pretty good at wakeboarding. How long have you been doing that? I’ve been on the lake ever since I grew up. I wasn’t big into wakeboarding until five or so years ago. When I was younger, I’d go tubing, skiing or knee boarding but now I’ve switched over to wakeboarding and wake surfing. Wakeboarding is fun and I’ve got somewhat good at it. And now with the new boats, you can surf behind them which is a lot of fun too. It’s a slower pace and something everyone can kind of do.
Now that you’ve got beyond development camp, can you decompress for a little bit before ramping up the training for next season? Yes and no. Like I said, when I first got back, I went up to the lake for a few days but I’m already back to training and skating. There’s time to enjoy yourself but it’s important to stay busy with your training.
Every season in junior you steadily increased your numbers each year. Now that you’re going into your sophomore year as a pro, how much more confident are you?The more you’re with a team and the more you’re into a league the more confidence you’re going to get. Especially with ice time and everything. The more a coach believes in you, the more ice time you’re going to get. Juniors were the same way. You break into a league, and you’re not sure how impactful you can be. Some guys have early success and other guys take more time. I was able to crank it up every single year in junior and that’s my goal now. I kind of have a feel-it-out-year and you try to do the best you can and the following year you’re trying to do a lot better and improve and make that jump. So, this is going to be a big year for me. It’s what you’ve got to do to keep a job and become the best player you can be.
Are there other pro guys that you’re training with this summer?Yeah, at the gym I’ve been training a lot with Tanner Jeannot who I played with in Moose Jaw and who now plays in Milwaukee. And another guy is JC Lipon who played a few games with Winnipeg (Jets) and is with the (Manitoba) Moose. Two guys that we push each other and build off each other to become better players. Tanner moved out here three years ago to train. We’re best friends. We pushed each other in junior and now we’re pushing each other to become better pros.
A week back was Canada Day which is the equivalent to the 4th of July in the States. Did you do anything fun to celebrate?Every year my family is at the lake for that weekend and we have fireworks at the lake but unfortunately this year we got hit with a big storm around 8 o’clock so the fireworks were postponed until later in the week but at that point everyone was back to work. We usually get on the boat at night and watch them from there but unfortunately, we couldn’t do the fireworks this year, but overall it was a great weekend.
Last question, what is one specific part of your game you want to improve the most this offseason? For me, it’s about building on my speed and power. Increase my foot speed because I will be playing against better defensemen and stronger players. So those are two big areas. I also want to improve my shot. I want a harder shot. In order to make it to the next level, you need a strong shot and you need a lot of power and speed. For me, if I can improve in those areas, the skill will just take over.