Photo Credit: Heather Pollock Photography
Brandon Naurato is a University of Michigan legend.
The 37-year-old Michigan product played four seasons for the Wolverines and was the Assistant Coach of their men’s hockey team when he presented on ice at TCS Live 2022. A few months later he was named Interim Head Coach, a position he currently holds.
Naurato’s hockey background is vast and includes three years as a Player Development Consultant with the Detroit Red Wings, before returning to his alma mater. Prior to that Naurato specialized in on-ice skill-based player development; his clients included NHLers Zach Werenski, Jack and Quinn Hughes, Dylan Larkin, Kyle Connor, Andrew Copp, and Josh Norris.
All this to say Naurato is a big name in hockey. If you’re unfamiliar with why, watching his TCS Live presentation will change that.
In it, Naurato, who played four years in the pros making stops at Stockton (ECHL), Toledo (ECHL), Port Huron (IHL), Fort Wayne (CHL), and Dayton (CHL), introduces the decision zone, an offensive area of the ice to the left and right of the face-off circles.
“The biggest thing about why I believe the decision zone is important is because of the following plays: you’ve got options to the high ice, options to bumper support and rim release options low. That’s tough for a defence trying to keep you in a quadrant.”
Naurato’s 46-minute on-ice presentation begins and ends with numerous examples from NHL play, in-between he introduces a Problem-Solution-Action plan, discusses the three moments in a game (you have it, they have it, 50/50 race), pressure vs. containment, when to attack vs. possess, and why it’s important to stay out of the cemetery.
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