Jared Knight must be pretty serious about getting ready for his first legitimate shot at an NHL job.
The 2010 second round pick is likely slotted for a job with the Providence Bruins no matter what, but hell be in the mix for a third line winger spot with Jordan Caron, Ryan Spooner and Chris Bourque among others. So hes worked diligently all summer after giving himself a few weeks to heal from a sprained ankle that dogged him through Bruins Development Camp.
Knight has taken up boxing lessons for the first time in his career, perhaps knowing that hell be expected to scrap a little bit more in professional hockey. But the workouts also serve as a rare physicalcardio workout that can simulate some of what happens on the ice. The Bs prospect laughed if he was ready to spar with Shawn Thornton once he makes it to Boston in September, but said the workouts have benefited him.
Yeah, maybe I shouldnt jump right into Thornton. I just took up boxing at the start of the summer. Ive become a big boxing fan and I love the fights, said Knight, who skated with Kevan Miller in Lansing for much of the summer.
It also works out for me because its a pretty fun way to train, and Ive gotten pretty good. You hit the bag and hit the mitts. Its pretty good.
So Ive been doing boxing four days a week. Its been busy. I dont know whats going on with the lockout, so I might have another month to work out before we end up reporting to Boston. If thats the case then Ill be coming into camp in really good shape.
Of course Knight is known more for his goal-scoring prowess, physicality and quick release that allowed him to score 87 goals over the last three seasons for the London Knights. But it sounds like Knight is also embracing the Black and Gold team toughness mantra as he joins the organization.
Thats a very good thing.
Whats another improvement for Knight 2.0 heading into the fall?
Knight has decommissioned his twitter account (@JKnight97) after he got a little too attached to it over the last couple of years. Its one less thing to worry about as he puts all of his focus into the game of hockey, and winning himself an actual job after building up a resume as one of Bostons top prospects over the last three seasons.
I might get back into it because a lot of the other guys are into the loop on it, but I was spending way too much time on there. I thought Id give it a break and focus on training rather than how many followers I had, said Knight. The first thing Id do in the morning was pick up the phone and scroll through my Twitter feed. It was Twitter and training, so I had to give myself a break.
The biggest question left for Knight is when hell report. The rookies are expected to arrive in mid-September if the NHL and NHLPA come to an agreement on a new CBA, but will report to Providence on Sept. 28 if the NHL season doesnt get moving on schedule.
The one certainty is that the rookie games set for mid-September in a Florida Panthers-hosted preseason tournament have been cancelled, and all of the young players were disappointed about that.
We dont know when were reporting. It will either be Sept. 15 or Sept. 28 depending on what happens, said Knight, who took part in the NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto over the last two days along with Ryan Spooner, Dougie Hamilton and 26 other NHL hopefuls. Were just on our toes waiting for the call to report to camp. If its the 15th Ill be ready and if its the 28th Ill be ready. I would love to go to the NHL camp, but Im not really following it closely.
I remember the first rookie games in Boston and last year in New York. This year they would have been in Florida and the weather would have been pretty nice. But its really disappointing for the guys that have just been drafted because its a really good experience for them. That stuff happens, though.
Knight is hoping that stuff doesnt happen to the NHL this year, but hell be ready either way.