From Rangers Development Camp to World Junior Championships and Now Junior Camp, Brennan Usman, Will Coyle and Dylan Garand I played a lot of hockey this summer.
The three Canadians have a prolific run in the international tournament, which culminated in a gold medal in overtime over Finland in late August. The three Rangers played a key role in Team Canada’s 19th gold medal, but that only means it’s likely to have an even bigger impact on their bodies.
“I haven’t had much of a summer,” Usman said Thursday at MSG Training Center in Tarrytown. “I think I’ve been telling a few people here that I think I’ve had a total of 10 or 11 days off and three or four weeks of actual training. I’ve been playing hockey, I think, for 10 1/2, 11 months this year It was a grind. I love it. I love hockey. I love playing the game.
“Playing in this world of juniors, getting there for three weeks and having this opportunity, and offering myself in different roles, it was amazing. I think we did a good job.”
Usman, who was drafted by Rangers for 16th overall in 2021, was removed from the Canada roster last December. When International Ice Hockey Federation Osman had to cancel the remainder of the tournament due to the high cases of COVID-19, however, Osman got another chance a few months later. He went on to score two goals and make four assists to help propel Canada to the gold medal.
Getting to show off his physical abilities and prove his ability to deliver strikes, not only to players of his size but also to bigger opponents, was a bonus. Usman also got to spend time with Quill and Garand too.
“It was definitely a lot of fun,” Usman said of competing alongside his blue-shirted teammates. “I think you’ll get to know them a little bit more. We got to know G a little bit, he’s a different character. You have to ask Cools about him. He’s so fun and Cools and I’ve made a good friendship, and bonded there too. They’re two great guys, two guys I’ll grow with for the rest of my life, I hope.” I was very lucky to have that with them.”
Coyle added in response to Usman’s remarks about Garand: “He’s probably talking about Gee’s focus in the room before the match. I’ve never seen someone like focus and contact him before, so that was interesting.”
Both Cowell and Usman think the extra actors are on the ice this summer Give them an advantage over some of their potential mates. They also said they feel their matches have intensified in preparation for training camp that begins Thursday. Coyle made 59 appearances for the Windsor Spitfires in the Ontario Hockey League last season, totaling 43 goals and 37 assists, while Usman scored 50 goals and 47 assists in 66 games for the Flint Firebirds.
The recovery period may be small, but Usman, Cowell and Garand are clearly all in game shape.
“This time is very important,” said Usman, who stated that he skated with the NHL group on Mondays and Tuesdays. “We have rookie camp and two matches this weekend, so [resting is] It is very important to go to the main camp. You have to find time during the day to rest and kind of relax, refuel your body, and take a nap. Do treatments, hot tub, cold tub, things like that. “
With Vezina Cup winner Igor Shesterkin and the recent signings of goalkeepers Jaroslav Hallak and Luis Domingo in the mix, Garand Rangers likely won’t support this season. But Usman and Coyle will compete to improve their status in the Rangers. Whether there’s a chance of beating a player from last season or – in Coyle’s case – getting a phone call amid injuries, the two will look to make an impression on Rangers management.
“I think I have to show a really good body and a really good competition,” said Coyle, who could play a role in the fourth streak with Rangers. “I think my game is obviously a force forward, to be really good in the test and to make things happen offensively. And just to be really good defensively, as well as to have a really good, consistent game at 200 feet.”