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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 Kyle Wood.
What have you been up to since the season ended? I left San Jose a few days after the season and then once I got back to Waterloo (Ontario) I just hung out for a couple of weeks. Got a chance to see a few of my buddies and my family. Pretty much just relaxing and giving my body a bit of time to recover from a long season. After a bit of time off, I was back in the gym. I kind of started easy for the first couple of weeks, just getting the body ready for the summer workout. Ever since that short break, I’ve been going to the gym every morning and I’m skating two or three times a week. There are a couple of local guys that I skate here, so I’ve been just working on my game and getting ready for the upcoming season. Other than that, on the weekends, I’m hanging out with my friends and family. I haven’t done anything too special yet but I do have some things planned for the weekends to come.
What are a few things you’re hoping to do this summer? I’ve got a couple of weekends coming up where I plan on taking some trips. My girlfriend is from Schreiber, Ontario which is pretty far from where I live so we’re going to head up there for a weekend and see her family and I’ll get to hang up north for a little bit. Also, in mid-August, my close buddy and I are going to visit another close buddy who just moved out to BC (British Columbia). So just little trips like that to go see family and friends.
You signed a one-year extension with the Sharks this offseason. How does it feel to know that you’ll be back in teal for another season? Getting the offer sheet and then signing is obviously a good feeling. There’s a lot of guys that didn’t get qualified so to be one of those guys that did is a really special feeling so it shows they have some confidence and faith in me moving forward and I appreciate that. Now I’m going to show them that my hard work in the summer has paid off. Going into San Jose last year, I didn’t know what to expect. I had a couple of friends there like Jake and Keaton Middleton who grew up in the same area as me. After a tough season in Tucson the year before, I didn’t know what to expect but I just wanted to work hard and get regular shifts and regular ice time. They had a lot of confidence in me, giving me an assistant (captain) leadership role there and that gave me a lot of confidence. I thought we had a close team and ultimately I thought aside from our playoff results that the season went well for myself and the team.
Is there a group of other pro players you workout with when you’re back home? I’ve gone to the same gym now for five or six years. We’ve got a lot of pro guys coming in from the area. Just to name a few, Tanner Pearson, Mike Latta, Logan Stanley, and Nate Bastian. Those are kind of the core guys I work out with. As I said, we have on-ice sessions a couple of times a week so it’s a good group to be around. A lot of talented players and I think that really helps me out in the summer to kind of make me work harder to get to where I want to be.
What were a few things that you wanted to improve in your game this summer? Going into the summer there’s a lot of things you need to work on. But the biggest one is speed. There’s a lot of quick forwards out there that can move at a high rate of speed and that’s something everyone wants to work on. Another one is getting stronger. You can never be too fast or too strong. Other than that, I’ve been working on my overall game. I felt like a made a big step defensively last year so I want to just continue that.
When the summer weather starts heating up in Waterloo, what are a few summer activities that you like to partake in? I don’t have a cottage or anything but I’ve been to a couple of friends places. I’ve been able to hang by the lake and do a little fishing but mostly just working out and golfing. I’ve even played a little tennis. I just got a puppy at the end of the season so I’m just hanging out with her. So, nothing crazy but just trying to relax and enjoy the summer during the day.
When do you plan on getting back to the Bay Area for training camp? Last year I came out about a week before just to get settled into the area. I’ll probably plan on doing the same thing this year. I’ll probably get in at the end of August just to get settled. That way I can get a few skates in with some of the NHL guys.