“Offence doesn’t only come from the forwards. It seems to me in the past, decades ago, the thought was to put an offensive-minded defenceman with a ‘stay at home’ guy. So the offensive guy can jump up and you always have someone back,” said Gadowsky. “I think if you talk to those players that really want the puck, they actually want to play with someone like-thinking that likes to move the puck quickly and they get the puck more. I think, to us at least, the thought process has changed and I think some guys are free-thinkers.”
With coaching resources readily available there are many drills and lesson plans out there to teach tangible skills. For players to learn about expecting how a play will develop and grow that awareness, that comes from being put in situations that force them to think outside the box.
“Scoring goals is fun. It keeps you coming back. I don’t think just at the youth level, I think everybody loves to score goals. The more you’re having fun, the better you play and the more you develop, whether you’re 12 or 22. That I believe in. The other thing about it though, I think that playing fast and using your IQ is not necessarily a factor of foot speed. It obviously is a benefit but some of the players that play the fastest aren’t necessarily the fastest skaters, they’re fastest thinkers and the ones that can anticipate.”