ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- The San Diego Junior Gulls hockey team has discovered a new training tool to help players sharpen their skills.
"I just fell in love with the sport when I saw NHL players playing it," 8-year-old Nikolay Udakov said.
Udakov said he practices the sport he loves on the Power Edge Pro. "In games we get our puck stolen, so we gotta learn how to trick the players so they don't get the puck," he said.
Craig Carlyle, the hockey director of the Junior Gulls, said he partnered with Power Edge Pro because he wanted his players to have the best equipment to train. "It's very popular in Canada right now; it's Canada-wide, it's getting into the U.S.," Carlyle said. "The national development team uses it. The best players in the United States ages 17 and 18 are using it. The last seven of 10 first overall draft picks have used this in the NHL. It's gaining some really big legs."
The Power Edge Pro is meant to mimic an opposing player with two additional sticks for added difficulty for making turns for handling that puck.
"They're really forced to do things at a high tempo," Carlyle said. "They make mistakes, but through those mistakes and constant repetition you actually get players like Connor McDavid, who's actually the guy who started with this stuff at 10 years old. The proof is in the pudding. He's the guy that started with this program. So it's a very exclusive thing for us and we are excited about it."
Ty Helie, 13, says the "PEP" has put a pep in his game. "It's different because you can practice stick handling and then edges," Helie said. "With Power Edge Pro you can practice edges and stick handling at the same time."