Sin Bin Sundays: A Hard Look At The NHL

With the 2013-14 season approaching, one of the interesting stories will be to discover how rookies like Jonathan Drouin adjust to life in the NHL.

Jun 30, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Jonathan Drouin poses for a photo with team executives as he is introduced as the number three overall pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s a quick look at 5 daunting challenges for rookies:

1. Getting acclimated to the speed of the NHL game.
2. Being able to manage the grind of an 82 game schedule.
3. Staying away from the dreaded injury bug.
4. Balancing team expectations and athletic demands.
5. Staying out of trouble with the coaching staff and off the ice.

When you look at the super-stars we’ve seen in Vincent Lecavalier and most recently, Steven Stamkos, they managed the transition to the NHL with a tremendous sense of professionalism. Not to say that there weren’t adjustments they both had to make, but Vinny and Stammer have to be seen as role models for players like Drouin and others who strive for a successful NHL career.

Having a superior set of skills isn’t a guaranteed ticket to long-term achievement in the National Hockey League or any sport for that matter. The biggest challenge for rookies today is to learn that the intangibles of character, dedication, and perseverance are equally, if not more meaningful, than their resume of past accomplishments.

Topics: Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning

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